Microalgal biomass grown in wastewater treatment raceway ponds may be valorised producing bioenergy through anaerobic digestion. However, pretreatment techniques seem to be necessary for enhancing microalgae methane yield. In this study, hydrothermal pretreatment was studied prior to batch and continuous reactors. The pretreatment increased organic matter solubilisation (8-13%), anaerobic digestion rate (30-90%) and final methane yield (17-39%) in batch tests. The highest increase was attained with the pretreatment at 130 degrees C for 15 min, which was attested in a laboratory-scale continuous reactor operated at a hydraulic retention time of 20 days with an average organic loading rate of 0.7 g VS/L center dot day. The methane yield increased from 0.12 to 0.17 L CH4/g VS (41%) in the pretreated digester as compared to the control. Microscopic images of microalgal biomass showed that pretreated cells had unstructured organelles and disrupted cell wall external layer, which may enhance the hydrolysis. Indeed, images of the pretreated reactor digestate showed how cells were more degraded than in the control reactor. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
CitacióPassos , F.; Ferrer, I. Influence of hydrothermal pretreatment on microalgal biomass anaerobic digestion and bioenergy production. "Water research (Oxford)", 01 Gener 2015, vol. 68, p. 364-373.