Evaluation of Effects of Ultrasonic Pretreatment on Biogas Production Potential from Corn Ethanol By-products

Date
2008-06-01
Authors
Wu-Haan, Wei
Burns, Robert
Grewell, David
Hearn, Cody
Grewell, David
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Abstract

This paper reviews the biochemical methane potential (BMP) production from anaerobic digestion of corn-ethanol by-products including dried distiller grain with solubles (DDGS), centrifuge solids, thin stillage, and corn-syrup as well as evaluating the effects of ultrasonic pretreatment on biogas production from these feedstocks. Ultrasonic pretreatment was applied with three amplitude settings of 33% (52.8 µm pp ), 66% (105.6 µm pp ), and 100% (160 µm pp ) as well as five time settings of 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 seconds, respectively, to each of the four by-products before setting up a bench top BMP trial. Biogas production was measured and analyzed for methane content and accumulated methane production. Without ultrasound pretreatment, corn-syrup had the highest methane production potential (408 ml/g VS added) compare to the other by-products. Methane production was increased by 25 and 12% for the ultrasound pretreated DDGs samples and solids samples, respectively, compared with untreated samples. The ultrasonic pretreatment of ethanol co-products was shown to increase methane production from the anaerobic digestion of these products. The ultrasonic pre-treatment of solids co-products (DDGS and centrifuge solids) was far more effective than on liquid co-products (syrup and thin stillage). An energy balance showed that ultrasonic pretreatment of DDGS provided 70% more energy than was required to operate the ultrasonic unit. An energy balance for other co-products however, indicated that the ultrasonic pre-treatment required more energy than was generated by the process in terms of additional biogas production.

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This is an ASABE Meeting Presentation, Paper No. 084099.

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