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Designing for Improved Performance with Staged Anaerobic Digestion

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Recent research provides ample indication that a conventional, single-stage flow train is not the optimal configuration for realizing the full potential for solids stabilization and pathogen reduction in mesophilic anaerobic digestion–and it is now time to put these research findings into practice. Temperature Phased Anaerobic Digestion, two-phase digestion and other advanced digestion process trains may be too ambitious for some, but simple staging of anaerobic digesters would be a good start in improving digestion performance. Staging coupled with draw-and-fill feeding would be even better. Encouragement to do so is provided by a two-stage mesophilic digestion system in Rockford, Illinois that has been beating performance expectations in over four years of operation. This paper discusses the Rockford installation, plus a new two-stage digestion system currently in design for the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. The anticipated system operation and the design adjustments required to accommodate future operation in a two-stage mode are reviewed.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2007

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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