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Keywords:

  • anaerobic digestion;
  • biodegradable;
  • biomass;
  • bioreactors;
  • environmental biotechnology;
  • reactor optimization

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This paper describes results obtained for different participating research groups in an interlaboratory study related to biochemical methane potential (BMP). In this research work, all experimental conditions influencing the test such as inoculum, substrate characteristics and experimental conditions were investigated. The study was performed using four substrates: three positive control substrates (starch, cellulose and gelatine), and one raw biomass material (mung bean) at two different inoculum to substrate ratios (ISR).

RESULTS: The average methane yields for starch, cellulose, gelatine and mung bean at ISR of 2 and 1 were 350 ± 33, 350 ± 29, 380 ± 42, 370 ± 36 and 370 ± 35 mL CH4 g−1 VSadded, respectively. The percentages of biotransformation of these substrates into methane were 85 ± 8, 85 ± 7, 88 ± 9, 85 ± 8 and 85 ± 8%, respectively. On the other hand, the first-order rate constants obtained from the experimental data were 0.24 ± 0.14, 0.23 ± 0.15, 0.27 ± 0.13, 0.31 ± 0.17 and 0.23 ± 0.13 d−1, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The influence of inocula and experimental factors was nearly insignificant with respect to the extents of the anaerobic biodegradation, while the rates differed significantly according to the experimental approaches. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry