Thermophilic biodigestion of fermented sugarcane molasses in high-rate structured-bed reactors: Alkalinization strategies define the operating limits

Published on Jul 1, 2021in Energy Conversion and Management9.709
· DOI :10.1016/J.ENCONMAN.2021.114203
Lucas Tadeu Fuess17
Estimated H-index: 17
(USP: University of São Paulo),
Marcelo Zaiat55
Estimated H-index: 55
(USP: University of São Paulo),
Cláudio Augusto Oller do Nascimento29
Estimated H-index: 29
(USP: University of São Paulo)
Source
Abstract
Abstract Energetic exploitation of sugarcane-derived byproducts via anaerobic digestion (AD) has recently been highlighted as an alternative to the conventional ethanol-producing approach. In this context, the thermophilic (55 °C) methane production from fermented molasses was assessed in the long-term (>200 d) continuous operation of two anaerobic structured-bed reactors. Two types of alkalinization strategies, namely, NaHCO3 dosing (RM1) and NaOH dosing coupled to effluent recirculation (RM2) were compared, as well as different levels of organic loading rate (OLR) and hydraulic retention time (HRT) were applied to reach limiting operating conditions. Both alkalinization strategies provided an equivalent buffer control up to an OLR of 7.5 kg-CODt m−3 d−1, from which unwanted accumulation of organic acids was observed in RM2. NaHCO3 dosing enabled doubling the OLR (15.0 kg-CODt m−3 d−1) without performance deterioration, i.e., organic matter removal > 80.0% and maximum methane yield values. A detailed assessment of the food-to-microorganism ratio demonstrated the maintenance of stable operating conditions at excess substrate availability (>3.0 g-CODt g−1VSS d−1) in the feeding chamber (FDC) of the reactors, in which substrate conversion exceeded 70.0%. Organic overloads occurred only when biomass retention reached a saturation level in the FDC, hampering the uptake of volatile organic acids, regardless of the operating condition. In any case, the wide range of operating conditions (OLR = 2.5–15.0 kg-CODt m−3 d−1 and HRT = 24.0–36.0 h) associated with maximized methane production characterized a highly flexible process, which enables varied design arrangements in full-scale AD plants.
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#1Rogerio Silveira Vilela (USP: University of São Paulo)H-Index: 3
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Abstract This work presents an alternative bioenergy-related management approach for sugarcane molasses through the application of anaerobic digestion (AD) in a two-stage continuous thermophilic (55 °C) system to produce biohydrogen (bioH2) and methane. The performance of the acidogenic stage (RH2) was assessed by maintaining a continuous and high organic loading rate (OLR; 120 kg COD m−3 d−1), whilst the robustness of the methanogenic stage (RCH4) was investigated based on the increase of the O...
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Abstract Currently, wastewater processing through anaerobic digestion can generate not only biofuels such as biohydrogen and methane, but also value-added soluble-phase intermediates (e.g. carboxylic acids), which have numerous applications. This study investigates the potential of using sugarcane vinasse, the main byproduct from ethanol production, as substrate in dark fermentation to recover soluble metabolites through the biorefinery approach. The impacts of temperature (30–60 °C) and initial...
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Abstract This study compares two- and single-stage thermophilic (55 °C) anaerobic systems as approaches for recovering bioenergy from sugarcane molasses. A bench-scale reactor was initially fed for 344 d with fermented molasses in a two-stage approach (RM-I). The same reactor was further fed with fresh molasses for 192 d, characterizing a single-stage system (RM-II). Increasing organic loading rates (up to 10 kg-COD m−3 d−1) were assessed in both operating modes. Maximum methane production was 1...
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Abstract Diversifying the portfolio of bioenergy-related products in sugarcane biorefineries is required to increase substrate conversion efficiency and market reach. The suitability of producing biohydrogen (bioH2) through the thermophilic dark fermentation of juice and molasses was assessed as an alternative to conventional sugarcane processing. The energetic potential of applying anaerobic digestion with phase separation to process molasses was also investigated. Molasses outperformed juice a...
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#2R.B.C.M. Cruz (USP: University of São Paulo)
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Abstract The continuous search to combine clean energy supply with the efficient exploitation of bioenergy sources is one of the most recurring efforts to meet global energy demands on an environmentally friendly basis. Sugarcane biorefineries play a central role in this context by providing sugar, ethanol and bioelectricity. However, the high energy required in ethanol production limits resource recovery efficiency in conventional sugarcane processing, motivating the investigation of approaches...
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