The purpose of this work was to study the anaerobic digestion of by-products generated during the production and refining of oil with the objective of proposing an alternative solution (methanisation) to the conventional solutions while reducing the energy consumption of fossil origin on refinery sites. The production of sunflower oil was taken as example. Glycerine from the production of biodiesel was also included in this study. The results show that glycerine has a high potential for methanisation because of its high methane potential (465 ml CH4/g VS) and high metabolization rates (0.42 g VS/g VSS.d). The use of oil cake as substrate for anaerobic digestion is not interesting because it has a low methane potential of 215 ml CH4/g VS only and because it is easily recovered in animal feed. Six residues have quite a high methane potential (465 to 850 ml CH4/g VS) indicating a good potential for anaerobic digestion. However, they contain a mixture of rapidly and slowly biodegradable organic matter and the loading rates must remain quite low (0.03 to 0.09 g VS/g VSS.d) to prevent any accumulation of slowly biodegradable solids in the digesters.
Anaerobic digestion of residues from production and refining of vegetable oils as an alternative to conventional solutions
M. Torrijos, Arun Kumar Thalla, P. Sousbie, F. Bosque, J. P. Delgenès; Anaerobic digestion of residues from production and refining of vegetable oils as an alternative to conventional solutions. Water Sci Technol 1 November 2008; 58 (9): 1871–1878. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2008.505
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