DOI: 10.3390/en16237844 ISSN: 1996-1073

Methane Production from a Rendering Waste Covered Anaerobic Digester: Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Energy Production

Nanh Lovanh, John Loughrin, Graciela Ruiz-Aguilar, Karamat Sistani
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Building and Construction

Livestock wastes can serve as the feedstock for biogas production (mainly methane) that could be used as an alternative energy source. The green energy derived from animal wastes is considered to be carbon neutral and offsetting the emissions generated from fossil fuels. In this study, an evaluation of methane production from anaerobic digesters utilizing different livestock residues (e.g., poultry rendering wastewater and dairy manure) was carried out. An anaerobic continuous flow system (15 million gallons, polyethylene-covered) subjected to natural conditions (i.e., high flow rate, seasonal temperatures, etc.) containing poultry rendering wastewater was set up to evaluate methane potential and energy production. A parallel pilot-scale plug-flow anaerobic digestion system (9 m3) was also set up to test different feedstocks and operating parameters. Biogas production was sampled and monitored by gas chromatography over several months of operation. The results showed that methane production increased as the temperature increased as well as depending on the type of feedstock utilized. The covered rendering wastewater lagoon achieved an upward of 80% (v/v) methane production. The rates of methane production were 0.0478 g per g of COD for the poultry rendering wastewater and 0.0141 g per g of COD for dairy manure as feedstock. Hence, a poultry processing plant with a rendering wastewater flow rate of about 4.5 million liters per day has the potential to capture about two million kilograms of methane for energy production per year from a waste retention pond, potentially reducing global warming potential by about 50,000 tons of CO2 equivalent annually.

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