Environmental Engineering Laboratory | EnvE - Lab

Environmental Management and Energy Recovery Systems.

Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic digestion (AD) of organic materials proceeds in the absence of oxygen and the presence of anaerobic microorganisms. It occurs in three stages, Hydrolysis/ Liquefaction, Acidogenesis and Methanogenesis.


Figure 1. Anaerobic digestion process.

The EnvE-Lab apparatus contains four anaerobic bioreactors, volume of 6.5 L each one, equipped with stirrers for waste agitation. The digesters are one stage which can operate both as a CSTR and a Batch work reactors.

EnvE-Lab research deals with anaerobic digestion from biodegradable matter in order to produce biogas (waste to energy). Especially, the Organic fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (OfMSW) was used as a feedstock trying to optimize their operation considering the percentage of wastes and inoculums.

The four anaerobic digesters give to EnvE-Lab the independence to compare different feedstock and conditions at the same time aiming at optimizing the design of integrated AD systems for different operational conditions, feestock composition and treatment goals.


Figure 2. Anaerobic bioreactors.

Biogas production from batch reactor

Figure 3. Biogas production from a batch work bioreactor using as feedstock the OfMSW 50% and inoculums 50%.


Biogas production from CSTR

Figure 4. Biogas production from a CSTR bioreactor using as feedstock 0.2L/d of optimal waste.