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Concept: Sintex Digester


Food and yard wastes are available year round at low cost and have the potential to complement each other for SS-AD. The goal of this study was to determine optimal feedstock/effluent (F/E) and food waste/yard waste mixing ratios for optimal biogas production. Co-digestion of yard and food waste was carried out at F/E ratios of 1, 2, and 3. For each F/E ratio, food waste percentages of 0%, 10%, and 20%, based on dry volatile solids, were evaluated. Results showed increased methane yields and volumetric productivities as the percentage of food waste was increased to 10% and 20% of the substrate at F/E ratios of 2 and 1, respectively. This study showed that co-digestion of food waste with yard waste at specific ratios can improve digester operating characteristics and end performance metrics over SS-AD of yard waste alone.

Concepts: Anaerobic digestion, Waste management, Biogas, Sintex Digester, Methane, Waste, Biodegradable waste, Landfill


Anaerobic digestion of residual materials from animals and crops offers an opportunity to simultaneously produce bioenergy and plant fertilizers at single farms and in farm communities where input substrate materials and resulting digested residues are shared among member farms. A surplus benefit from this practice may be the suppressing of propagules from harmful biological pests like weeds and animal pathogens (e.g. parasites). In the present work, batch experiments were performed, where survival of seeds of seven species of weeds and non-embryonated eggs of the large roundworm of pigs, Ascaris suum, was assessed under conditions similar to biogas plants managed at meso- (37°C) and thermophilic (55°C) conditions. Cattle manure was used as digestion substrate and experimental units were sampled destructively over time. Regarding weed seeds, the effect of thermophilic conditions (55°C) was very clear as complete mortality, irrespective of weed species, was reached after less than 2 days. At mesophilic conditions, seeds of Avena fatua, Sinapsis arvensis, Solidago canadensis had completely lost germination ability, while Brassica napus, Fallopia convolvulus and Amzinckia micrantha still maintained low levels (∼1%) of germination ability after 1 week. Chenopodium album was the only weed species which survived 1 week at substantial levels (7%) although after 11d germination ability was totally lost. Similarly, at 55°C, no Ascaris eggs survived more than 3h of incubation. Incubation at 37°C did not affect egg survival during the first 48h and it took up to 10days before total elimination was reached. In general, anaerobic digestion in biogas plants seems an efficient way (thermophilic more efficient than mesophilic) to treat organic farm wastes in a way that suppresses animal parasites and weeds so that the digestates can be applied without risking spread of these pests.

Concepts: Archaea, Plant, Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Sintex Digester, Manure, Thermophile, Mesophile


Particle size may significantly affect the speed and stability of anaerobic digestion, and matching the choice of particle size reduction equipment to digester type can thus determine the success or failure of the process. In the current research the organic fraction of municipal solid waste was processed using a combination of a shear shredder, rotary cutter and wet macerator to produce streams with different particle size distributions. The pre-processed waste was used in trials in semi-continuous ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ digesters at organic loading rate (OLR) up to 6kg volatile solids (VS) m(-3)day(-1). The results indicated that while difference in the particle size distribution did not change the specific biogas yield, the digester performance was affected. In the ‘dry’ digesters the finer particle size led to acidification and ultimately to process failure at the highest OLR. In ‘wet’ digestion a fine particle size led to severe foaming and the process could not be operated above 5kgVSm(-3)day(-1). Although the trial was not designed as a direct comparison between ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ digestion, the specific biogas yield of the ‘dry’ digesters was 90% of that produced by ‘wet’ digesters fed on the same waste at the same OLR.

Concepts: Anaerobic digestion, Waste management, Particle size distribution, Biogas, Sintex Digester, Hydrogen sulfide


The objective of this research was to study the production of biogas by using pineapple pulp and peel, the by-products from fruit processing plants, in a plug-flow reactor (17.5 L total volume). The effects of feed concentration, total solids (TS) and hydraulic retention time (HRT) on degradation of the waste were investigated. The increase of pineapple pulp and peel of 2% (wt/vol) at HRT 7 d to 4% (wt/vol) at HRT 10 d showed increases in biogas production rate, biogas yield and methane yield - from 0.12 v/v-d, 0.26 m(3)/kg COD removed and 0.11 m(3)/kg COD removed, with COD removal at 64.1%, to 0.25 v/v-d, 0.43 m(3)/kg COD removed and 0.14 m(3)/kg COD removed, with COD removal at 60.41%. The methanogenic fermentation was more active in the middle and final parts of the reactor. The recirculation of fermentation effluent at 40% (vol/vol) of the working volume into the reactor could increase the biogas production rate and biogas yield up to 52% and 12%, respectively. The results showed technological potential for waste treatment of pineapple pulp and peel in a plug-flow reactor.

Concepts: Anaerobic digestion, Waste management, Biogas, Sintex Digester, Fruit, Methane, Energy crop, Methanogenesis


The production of biogas takes place under anaerobic conditions and involves microbial decomposition of organic matter. Most of the participating microbes are still unknown and non-cultivable. Accordingly, shotgun metagenome sequencing currently is the method of choice to obtain insights into community composition and the genetic repertoire.

Concepts: Archaea, Organism, Microbiology, Eukaryote, Biotechnology, Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Sintex Digester


Biogas production is an economically attractive technology that has gained momentum worldwide over the past years. Biogas is produced by a biologically mediated process, widely known as “anaerobic digestion.” This process is performed by a specialized and complex microbial community, in which different members have distinct roles in the establishment of a collective organization. Deciphering the complex microbial community engaged in this process is interesting both for unraveling the network of bacterial interactions and for applicability potential to the derived knowledge.

Concepts: Archaea, Molecular biology, Microbiology, Biotechnology, Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Sintex Digester, Methane


Methane yield and biogas productivity of biogas plants (BGPs) depend on microbial community structure and function, substrate supply, and general biogas process parameters. So far, however, relatively little is known about correlations between microbial community function and process parameters. To close this knowledge gap, microbial communities of 40 samples from 35 different industrial biogas plants were evaluated by a metaproteomics approach in this study.

Concepts: Archaea, Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Sintex Digester, Hydrogen sulfide, C, Methane, Landfill


A novel concept of dosing iron ions using Fe3 O4 engineered nanoparticles is used to improve biogas production in anaerobic digestion processes. Since small nanoparticles are unstable, they can be designed to provide ions in a controlled manner, and the highest ever reported improvement of biogas production is obtained. The nanoparticles evolution during operation is followed by an array of spectroscopic techniques.

Concepts: Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Sintex Digester, Hydrogen sulfide


Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) produces carbon-rich nano-micro size particles. In this study, magnetic hydrochar (MHC) was prepared from model compound cellulose by simply adding ferrites during HTC. The effects of ferrites on HTC were evaluated by characterizing solid MHC and corresponding process liquid. Additionally, magnetic stability of MHC was tested by magnetic susceptibility method. Finally, MHC was used as support media for anaerobic films in anaerobic digestion (AD). Ash-free mass yield was around 50% less in MHC than hydrochar produced without ferrites at any certain HTC reaction condition, where organic part of MHC is mainly carbon. In fact, amorphous hydrochar was growing on the surface of inorganic ferrites. MHC maintained magnetic susceptibility regardless of reaction time at reaction temperature 250°C. Pronounced inhibitory effects of magnetic hydrochar occurred during start-up of AD but diminished with prolong AD times. Visible biofilms were observed on the MHC by laser scanning microscope after AD.

Concepts: Solid, Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Sintex Digester, Hydrogen sulfide, Methane, Magnetic susceptibility, Energy crop


This study investigated the behavior of biochars from pyrolysis (pyrochar) and hydrothermal carbonization (hydrochar) in anaerobic digestion regarding their degradability and their effects on biogas production and ammonia inhibition. A batch fermentation experiment (42°C, 63days) was conducted in 100mL syringes filled with 30g inoculum, 2g biochar and four levels of total ammonium nitrogen (TAN). For pyrochar, no clear effect on biogas production was observed, whereas hydrochar increased the methane yield by 32%. This correlates with the hydrochar’s larger fraction of anaerobically degradable carbon (10.4% of total carbon, pyrochar: 0.6%). Kinetic and microbiota analyses revealed that pyrochar can prevent mild ammonia inhibition (2.1gTANkg(-1)). Stronger inhibitions (3.1-6.6gTANkg(-1)) were not mitigated, neither by pyrochar nor by hydrochar. Future research should pay attention to biochar-microbe interactions and the effects in continuously-fed anaerobic digesters.

Concepts: Archaea, Nitrogen, Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Sintex Digester, Hydrogen sulfide, Methane, Energy crop