[Digestion] More scientific based research and questions

Paul Harris paul.harris at adelaide.edu.au
Mon Oct 4 18:09:52 PDT 2010



 I have  been seeing many queries posed by many persons, I do not understand
where these persons are from, or what work is done at the feild level, so
many theories projected,  I have been in this feild for 30 odd yrs, in a
normal system u use cowdung/manure as the main feed substarte, and we have
been following this very closely, any amount of manipulation does not help,
we have seen number of biogas plants fail to produce gas after
overloading..with unwanted chemicals/ biological products particularly when
the temp in fall of the year, there is not much u can do, but try save the
heat loss by insulation,which is very pratical when temp falls below 10
degrees. I wish to share my little knowledge and experience 

Methane is one of final product, and its production is based on the
avialbility of Hydrogen based compounds, we have seen the addation of oil
seed cake, we use mostly cakes which are not utilised for cattle, castor
cake, Jatropha, sopilt oil seed cake, ground nut, waste cooking oil, if used
in a small qty, it can keep producing biogas of higher quality, I do not
want to indulge in the information which is known, the various process of
anaerobic digestion....when a new product is introduced, it must be
introduced gradually in small quantity,,,,, I have been using coffee husk
C:N (1:23) better than cattle dung which is approx (1:30),,,, one of the
problem we face is higher production of H2S(hydrogen sulphide)   ,   on the
other hand we have recently seen more farmers are now using the waste water
from the rubber sheet (latex is collected, made to cogulate by adding formic
acid) after 3 hrs, the cogulated latex slab is made to pass through steel
rollers, which removes the liquid portion, which is rich in sugars and
carbohydrates, they are use for feeding the biogas plants, there is no need
of dung, though initially these were solely dung fed bioas plants....I do
not have much understanding of the microbiology...but it works, it does not
cost the farmer anything,  it has become a blessing in disguise , for many
years, it was a nuisance,  until someone discovered the potential of this
waste water.

Methane production can also be increased, by providing the methonabactera
with right amount of nutrients, these are trace elements, they need in small
qty, of which, ferrous (iron) cobalt, nickel, molybendum....these quantity
needs to be added monthly, or when the gas production (methane)
falls.....from my experience from the field, this technology has been
staright jackted with the usage of animal manure....all the while the
research consideration was on C:N   ...thus when higher protein products
were used, or if the product is much more than organic/ compound, system
fail.... Only recently  a new line of research is taking place, looking
closely on hydrogenated compounds (C:H), that is where  oil seed cake is
found to be a good product, a safe candidate for increasing Methane
.....waste food have good potential, because of more hydrogen products, like
fats and oil....now waste management have adopted this product.....

Most of the installed biogas plant at family level fails for number of
reason, on of the main ones, is lack feed material and water, both are
closely linked ....see this in perspective, the Indian Insitute of Science,
Bangalore's rural energy wing - Centre for science and technology  have
developed a a new design called Plug Flow...it take care to over come many
of the problems associated, as the feed material is mostly biomass in their
native state, always thought that methane production take place only when
biomass is submerged in water, no it is not necessary, as as long as biomass
is confined to a close place /devoid of air methane will be generated,  best
example in nature is the termite , they consume all the cellulose material,
certain type of  bacteria in their guts, break the cellulose down with
enzyme, producing host material, ..........

Below is an interesting paper attached.....

For Dhanesh Kumar [daquab4u at gmail.com]


Mr. Paul Harris, Room S116b, Waite Main Building Faculty of Sciences, The
University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, PMB 1, Glen Osmond SA 5064 Ph    : +61
8 8303 7880      Fax   : +61 8 8303 4386 mailto:paul.harris at adelaide.edu.au


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