[Digestion] Biogas production

Takamoto kyle at takamotobiogas.com
Mon Nov 12 23:44:10 PST 2012


Dear Biogas List,

I have been testing a plastic (LLDPE) floating drum digester with cow dung and found that the biogas production was lower than expected (pH 7, 19˚C) at around 0.5 cubic meters of biogas per day at 67% methane. The reactor volume is 3.2 cubic meters. I discovered that our dung supplier had recently used the antibiotic Tetracycline for a few of his cows so there is a chance of contamination, though at this point, I feel like the antibiotic concentration would be very low and should not affect gas production. Does anyone have experience with the effect of antibiotics? Also, what gas production should I expect from a 3.2 cubic meter reactor that I add 40 kg of cow dung to per day (plus 40 kg of water)? If I assume 15% TS and 80% of TS are VS then the Organic Loading Rate is around 1.5 kg -VS/m3/day and our specific methane yield is 0.07 m3 CH4/kg-VS and our digester efficiency is 0.1 m3 CH4/m3 reactor/day. Does this sound reasonable?

I have also been reviewing research articles on gas production from cow dung but the results vary widely and sometimes I am not sure if the reported results are accurate. Also, research papers often use CSTR (continuously stirred tank reactors?) at 37˚C which makes comparing their results to my results rather difficult. We are getting a new load of non-contaminated cow dung today to see if that makes a difference. I'll let you know.

I am sure this topic has been discussed before, so I am sorry if I have repeated the topic. I am newish to the forum so I haven't seen anything on this yet.

Thanks for your advice,

Kyle
Managing Director
Schutter Energy Ltd.
www.takamotobiogas.com



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