Defining the best pre-treatment method for sewage sludge and corn straw

Magdalena Nagler, Alexander Jäger, Benjamin Hupfauf, Heribert Insam, Sabine Podmirseg

Publikation: KonferenzbeitragPoster


Biogas is an environment-friendly fuel representing an expanding field in the renewable energy sector. While some co-substrates are readily used by the microbiota, complex materials such as cellulose-rich fibres are not fully degradable and require a treatment prior to their introduction into the biogas plant. Here we optimize five different pre-treatment methods (I-V) for two representative co-substrates, corn straw and sewage sludge. We test their resulting methane potential according to a standardized procedure (VDI 4630) and compute an energy balance considering also the energy input for pre-treatments in order to identify the best method for each co-substrate. The pre-treatments include three traditional approaches (I) enzymes (II) steam explosion and (III) high temperature/sodium hydroxide treatment and two innovative methods, (IV) the hydro-thermal carbonisation (HTC) and (V) the implementation of anaerobic rumen fungi (Neocallimastigomycota) that increase biomethanation by degrading recalcitrant (hemi)celluloses through potent exo-enzymes. First results compare the three traditional pre-treatments and demonstrate a significant change in the overall methane potential. More precisely, pre-treatments led to +42% (II), +25.6% (III) and +9% (I) methane yield when applied to corn straw and +30 % (III), + 4.7% (I) and -5.5% (II) when applied to sewage sludge. Preliminary findings for the innovative techniques indicate that i) during HTC, a very auspicious liquid fraction for amendment to biogas reactors is generated and that ii) anaerobic fungi are capable of good growth on the corn straw substrate.
Titel in ÜbersetzungDefining the best pre-treatment method for sewage sludge and corn straw
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2015
VeranstaltungISAM9 - 9th International Symposium on Anaerobic Microbiology - Portoroz, Slowenien
Dauer: 25 Juli 201527 Juli 2015


KonferenzISAM9 - 9th International Symposium on Anaerobic Microbiology


  • Biogas
  • Pre-treatment
  • enzymes
  • steam explosion
  • high temperature sodium hydroxide treatment


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