Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENVIRONMENTAL AND GENETIC FACTORS AFFECTING PATHOGEN PERSISTENCE IN ANIMAL WASTE AND TRANSFER TO CROPS Title: Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste and Dairy Manure for Bioenergy Production

Authors
item Elmashad, Hamed - UC DAVIS
item McGarvey, Jeffery
item Zhang, Ruihong -

Submitted to: Bioresource Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2006
Publication Date: October 1, 2008
Citation: Elmashad, H.M., Mcgarvey, J.A., Zhang, R. 2008 Anaerobic digestion of food waste and dairy manure for bioenergy production. Bioresource Technology 1(3):235-244.

Interpretive Summary: Dairy cow manure and food waste can both be used to generate methane, a biogas that can be used to generate energy. However, neither of these substrates is ideal for this purpose. Manure is a well buffered substrate that produces methane slowly over time and food waste produces methane rapidly but is poorly buffered which results in the inhibition of methanogenesis. We hypothesized that if we codigested these two substrates that we could obtain the best properties of both. Our experiments showed that mixing manure and food waste produced a substrate that could significantly increase the biogas production rate and was well buffered so no inhibition of methanogenesis was observed. We also characterized the microbial properties of each substrate and the mixtures when codigested.

Technical Abstract: The performance of continuously mixed anaerobic digesters was evaluated in the laboratory for treating manure, food waste and their mixtures at 35 ± 2oC and a hydraulic retention time of 20 days. The first mixture was composed of 32% and 68%, and the second was composed of 48% and 52% food waste and dairy manure, respectively. The percentage was based on volatile solids (VS). The digesters treating manure and the two mixtures showed stable performance at an organic loading rate (OLR) of 4 gVS/L. However, the digester treating food waste was not stable even at an OLR of 2 gVS/L as indicated by high volatile fatty acid concentrations and low pH. The pH adjustment by adding hydrated lime to the food waste increased biogas production rate and yield. The microbial analysis results showed that the food waste derived library contained statistically greater numbers of clones related to the phyla Thermotogae and Actinobacteria and the manure derived library contained greater amounts of clones related to the phyla Firmicutes, Bacteriodetes and Spirochetes. The archaeal population structure had little difference in the digesters fed with different substrates and was composed of hydrogenotrophic, acetotrophyic, and methylotrophic methanogens. The results of this study showed that co-digestion of food waste and dairy manure could significantly increase the biogas production rate and therefore the economics of the digester system as compared to digestion of dairy manure alone. Adding food waste into dairy digesters would be a feasible method for improving the economics of dairy farm digesters.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page