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Anaerobic digestion of microalgal biomass after ultrasound pretreatment
Passos, Fabiana Lopes del Rei; Astals, Sergi; Ferrer Martí, Ivet
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Departament d'Enginyeria Hidràulica, Marítima i Ambiental; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. GEMMA - Grup d'Enginyeria i Microbiologia del Medi Ambient
High rate algal ponds are an economic and sustainable alternative for wastewater treatment, where microalgae and bacteria grow in symbiosis removing organic matter and nutrients. Microalgal biomass produced in these systems can be valorised through anaerobic digestion. However, microalgae anaerobic biodegradability is limited by the complex cell wall structure and therefore a pretreatment step may be required to improve the methane yield. In this study, ultrasound pretreatment at a range of applied specific energy (16-67. MJ/kg. TS) was investigated prior to microalgae anaerobic digestion. Experiments showed how organic matter solubilisation (16-100%), hydrolysis rate (25-56%) and methane yield (6-33%) were improved as the pretreatment intensity increased. Mathematical modelling revealed that ultrasonication had a higher effect on the methane yield than on the hydrolysis rate. A preliminary energy assessment indicated that the methane yield increase was not high enough as to compensate the electricity requirement of ultrasonication without biomass dewatering (8% VS).
Àrees temàtiques de la UPC::Energies::Recursos energètics renovables::Biogàs
Anaerobic biodegradability
High rate algal pond
Algues -- Biogàs

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