Abstract

A continuous hydrogen and methane production system in a two-stage process has been investigated to increase energy recovery rate from molasses wastewater in this study. This system consisted of a continuous stirred-tank reactor for hydrogen production and an internal circulation (IC) reactor for methane production, and was studied under the influent organic loading rate (OLR) of 18, 24, 30 and 36kg COD/(m3·d) (COD: chemical oxygen demand). The maximum volumetric hydrogen production rate of 2.41 L/(L·d) was obtained at the OLR of 30kg COD/(m3·d) with a hydrogen content of 42%, and the maximum volumetric methane production rate of 2.4 L/(L·d) with a methane content of 74.45% was obtained at the OLR of 36kg COD/(m3·d) using the effluents of hydrogen fermentation as substrate. The maximum of 71.06% of the molasses wastewater energy was converted to biogas (hydrogen and methane) at the OLR of 30kg COD/(m3·d).

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