The possible co-digestion of energy crops and industrial confectionery by-products with cow manure was evaluated firstly, through long-term batch experiments and secondly, in a farm-scale digester. In batch assays, digestion with mesophilically digested cow manure as inoculum resulted in specific methane yields (m3 kg−1 VSadded waste) of 0.35 for grass hay (particle size <1.0 cm); 0.26 for oats (0.5 cm) and 0.21 for clover (2.0 cm) harvested at vegetative stage and 0.14 (2.0 cm) for clover harvested at flowering stage. Specific methane yields (m3 kg−1 VSadded waste) for confectionery by-products were 0.37 for chocolate, 0.39 for black candy and 0.32 for confectionery raw material. Out the three particle sizes (2.0, 1.0 and 0.5 cm) tested, particle size of 1.0 cm was found ideal for digestion of grass hay and clover while, particle size reduction did not influence methane production from oats. Stage of the crop influenced the methane yields, with clover harvested at vegetative stage yielding 33% higher methane than when harvested at flowering stage. An approximate 60% enhancement in methane yield was noticed with the co-digestion of industrial confectionery wastes with cow manure in a full-scale farm digester.

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