Defining Anaerobic Digestion Stability-Full Scale Study

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Morris Elya Demitry Sr, Utah State University, Logan, UT, United States
A full-scale anaerobic digester receiving a mixture of primary and secondary sludge was monitored for one hundred days. A chemical oxygen demand, COD, and a volatile solids, VS, mass balance was conducted to evaluate the stability of the digester and its capability of producing methane gas.

The COD mass balance could account for nearly 90% of the methane gas produced while the VS mass balance showed that 91% of the organic matter removed resulted in biogas formation. Other parameters monitored included: pH, alkalinity, VFA, and propionic acid. The values of these parameters showed that steady state had occurred.

Finally, at mesophilic temperature and at steady state performance, the anaerobic digester stability was defined as a constant ratio of methane produced per substrate of ΔVS (average ratio=0.404 l/g). This ratio can be used as universal metric to determine the anaerobic digester stability in an easy and inexpensive way.