Synergistic co-digestion of wastewater grown algae-bacteria polyculture biomass and cellulose to optimize carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and application of kinetic models to predict anaerobic digestion energy balance

Pavlo Bohutskyi, Duc Phan, Anatoliy M. Kopachevsky, Steven Chow, Edward J. Bouwer, Michael J. Betenbaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated enhancing methane production from algal-bacteria biomass by adjusting the C/N ratio through co-digestion with a nitrogen-poor co-substrate – cellulose. A biomethane potential test was used to determine cumulative biogas and methane production for pure and co-digested substrates. Four kinetic models were evaluated for their accuracy describing experimental data. These models were used to estimate the total energy output and net energy ratio (NER) for a scaled AD system. Increasing the algal C/N ratio from 5.7 to 20–30 (optimal algae:cellulose feedstock ratios of 35%:65% and 20%:80%) improved the ultimate methane yield by >10% and the first ten days production by >100%. The modified Gompertz kinetic model demonstrated highest accuracy, predicting that co-digestion improved methane production by reducing the time-lag by ∼50% and increasing rate by ∼35%. The synergistic effects increase the AD system energy efficiency and NER by 30–45%, suggesting potential for substantial enhancements from co-digestion at scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-220
Number of pages11
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume269
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biogas and methane production kinetic models
  • Carbon to nitrogen ratio
  • Digester energy balance
  • Net energy ratio
  • Synergistic co-digestion of algae with cellulose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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