Anaerobic digestion of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste

    • Influence of co-digestion with manure Water Research 39 (8). 1543 - 1552
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    Ahring, B. K.; Uellendahl, Hinrich

    Anaerobic digestion of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) was investigated in two thermophilic (55 °C) wet digestion treatment systems R1 and R2. Initially OFMSW was co-digested with manure with a successively higher concentration of OFMSW, at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 14–18 d and an organic loading rate (OLR) of 3.3–4.0 g-VS/l/d. Adaptation of the co-digestion process to a OFMSW:manure ratio of 50% (VS/VS) was established over a period of 6 weeks. This co-digestion ratio was maintained in reactor R2 while the ratio of OFMSW to manure was slowly increased to 100% in reactor R1 over a period of 8 weeks. Use of recirculated process liquid to adjust the organic loading to R1 was found to have a beneficial stabilization effect. The pH rose to a value of 8 and the reactor showed stable performance with high biogas yield and low VFA levels. The biogas yield from source-sorted OFMSW was 0.63–0.71 l/g-VS both in the co-digestion configuration and in the treatment of 100% OFMSW with process liquid recirculation. This yield is corresponding to 180–220 m3 biogas per ton OFMSW. VS reduction of 69–74% was achieved when treating 100% OFMSW. None of the processes showed signs of inhibition at the free ammonia concentration of 0.45–0.62 g-N/l.