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Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences (JETEAS)


Article Title: Experimental Studies of Anaerobic Digestion of Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste Using a Bioreactor with Integral Flow Features
by Charles N. Agulanna, Goddy N. Onuoha, Emmanuel E. Anyanwu, Emmanuel N. O. Ejike, and Nnamdi, V. Ogueke

Inadequate slurry flow dynamics have been reported to adversely affect biodigestion process resulting in poor bioreactor performance or outright failure in some cases. The incorporation of appropriate flow features in bioreactor design is expected to provide the basis of effective digestion of organic waste thus leading to high yield in biogas production. Consequently, a bioreactor with integral flow features was designed, fabricated and employed for the experimental studies of anaerobic digestion of organic fraction of municipal solid waste. The reactor comprises two identical cylindrical vessels connected to a central substrate dispensing unit and has a total void volume of 64.8l. Substrate flow features in this reactor were characterized by an upflow coupled with a crossflow and a dispersive downflow. The bioreactor was fed batch, operated at 37oC and with substrate recirculation effected at 450ml per minute by an electromagnetic metering pump. The feedstock was obtained by processing organic fraction of municipal solid waste into powdery form of 500?m particle size. The substrate was prepared as slurry from the powdery feedstock and the inoculum applied was lumen contents of a freshly slaughtered cow. The performance of the bioreactor was based on the following criteria: total biogas yield per kg of raw feedstock; the proportion of methane in the biogas; the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total organic carbon, (TOC) reductions. The experimental maximum biogas-yield obtained was 17.94l/kg measured at atmosphere pressure of 1.01 bars and temperature of 29oC. This value was quite close to the theoretical value (18.55l/kg) based on a modified Gompertz equation. The proportion of methane in the gas produced was 68%. The results for COD and TOC reduction efficiencies were 95.2% and 87.6% respectively. The resulting first order kinetic constant for COD reduction based on Fenton's first order reaction model equation was 0.312. This indicates that the Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT) can be as low as 9 days for this twin vessel bio reactor with integral flow features.
Keywords: biodigester, bioreactor, anaerobic digestion, municipal wastes, biogas, methane, slurry, chemical oxygen demand (cod), total organic carbon (TOC)
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ISSN: 2141-7016

Editor in Chief.

Prof. Gui Yun Tian
Professor of Sensor Technologies
School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
University of Newcastle
United Kingdom



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