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Bioresour Technol. 2011 Jan;102(2):729-35. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.08.069. Epub 2010 Aug 26.

Multi stage high rate biomethanation of poultry litter with self mixed anaerobic digester.

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Bioengineering and Environmental Centre, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Tarnaka, Hyderabad 500007, Andhra Pradesh, India.


A multi stage high rate biomethanation process with novel self mixed anaerobic digester (SMAD) was developed in the present study to reduce the hydraulic residence time (HRT), increase the volatile solids (VS) loading rate, improve the VS destruction efficiency and enhance the methane yield. Specific design features of SMAD were useful in mixing the digester contents without consuming power and de-alienated the problem of scum formation. In the first phase, poultry litter having 10% total solids (TS) was subjected to high rate biomethanation in multi stage configuration (SMAD-I and II in series with UASB reactor). It was observed that gross VS reduction of 58%, gross methane yield of 0.16 m3 kg(-1) (VS reduced) and VS loading rate of 3.5 kg VS m(-3) day(-1) at HRT of 13 days was obtained. In the second phase SMAD-II was bypassed from the process scheme keeping the other parameters same as in the first phase. The results obtained were not as encouraging as in the first phase. The study showed that multi stage configuration with SMAD design improved the anaerobic digestion process efficiency of poultry litter.

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