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Going Full Cycle for Renewable Energy: Digestion Enhancement Opportunities for Sustainable Waste Management

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Anaerobic digestion is one of the tools private and public entities are considering to use or already using to manage and obtain renewable energy with various feedstocks. Performance potential of anaerobic digestion is dependent on the design and operation, however there are ways to improve and make anaerobic technologies work for our benefit. This paper covers the methodologies and technologies available in US and Europe, and focus on a California Utility's efforts as an example of a multi-pronged approach to renewable energy recovery. Additives that have undergone a relatively thorough scientific evaluation as documented in peer-reviewed publications and research reports were then shortlisted to ascertain the technical and economic feasibility assessment at two host sites representing a municipal sewage sludge digestion facility and a dairy manure digestion facility. DSM/Biopract products that consist of enzymes and macro- and micro-nutrients were selected for this feasibility assessment. The feasibility assessment results showed potential for enhanced biogas production by using additives depending on the digester feed. Where it is possible to add other feedstocks such as food waste, green waste or high-energy crops to further enhance biogas production, a greater benefit and larger energy recovery potential could be realized from additive use
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Keywords: additives; anaerobic digestion; biogas; co-digestion

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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