Optimizing the Biochemical Methane Potential (BMP) of Food Waste

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Athar Hussain, Manjeeta Priyadarshi, Shivani Patel, Gaurav Saini


Recent advances in anaerobic digestion has resulted in expansion of sustainable methods for use of waste as energy resources. Conventional methods prove to be uneconomical and environmentally impractical. Moreover, the microbial consortia in anaerobic digestion are temperature dependent and therefore requires investigations on temperature optimization. Therefore, the recent experimental study is being undertaken with the objective in order to assess the effect of temperature on anaerobic biodegradation of food wasted from a hostel campus. The effect of temperature on methane generation rate has also been investigated. The anaerobic digestion study under psychrophilic, mesophilic and thermophilic temperature conditions has been carried out and compared in order to assess the optimum methane production conditions. All the experimental study for anaerobic digestion of food waste has been carried out at optimum F/M (food to mass) ratio of 0.75. The cumulative highest methane production is observed to be 33, 50 and 65 mL of CH4 in reactor R1, R2 and R3 with initial food waste COD dosage of 100, 150 and 200 mg, respectively under mesophilic temperature conditions. The highest biochemical methane potential (BMP) value of 0.94, 0.95 and 0.93 gCH4-COD/gCOD fed in reactor R1, R2 and R3 respectively, under mesophilic temperature conditions. It been observed that for maximum methane generation rate constant of 0.62 d-1 were observed under thermophilic conditions thus has to be highly accelerative process but overall conversion of organic matter to methane is less as compared to mesophilic temperature conditions, this is because free ammonia concentration increases with increasing temperature, by influencing the equilibrium. However, mesophilic conditions provide a more stable environment for the anaerobic digestion process. This may be due to the fact that temperature fluctuations can disrupt the microbial activity and slow down the process, but mesophilic conditions provide a stable environment for the microorganisms to thrive. Therefore, the mesophilic temperature range provides a balance between high reaction rates, stability, and cost-effectiveness, making it the optimal temperature range for anaerobic digestion of food waste. The obtained results in present study will be helpful in implementing on full-scale anaerobic solid waste digesters for enhancing the methane generation under mesophilic temperature conditions with high organic matter removal. Also, under thermophilic conditions the energy requirement for heating proves to be uneconomical.


Anaerobic Digestion; Food to Mass ratio; Methane; Food Waste; Temperature

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26789/AEB.2023.01.006


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