Investigation into the biochemical methane potential of abattoir wastewater

Bauer, Amelia (2011) Investigation into the biochemical methane potential of abattoir wastewater. [USQ Project]

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Anaerobic digestion is used as a means of treating wastewaters and producing methane for heating and energy around the world. With the cost of fossil fuels rising and the possibility of a carbon tax, Australia’s agricultural and food processing industries are interested in harnessing methane from their wastewaters. There are international studies available on the volumes of methane produced from a variety of wastes and wastewaters. However, abattoir wastewaters are complex with varying compositions, therefore, individual abattoirs need to be studied separately to determine the volumes of methane that can be produced.

This dissertation presents the results from laboratory studies conducted to measure the methane yield of easily biodegradable substrates including, glucose, acetate, gelatine and powder milk and abattoir wastewaters including, yard water, blood water and saveall water. The experiments were conducted in batch mode following standard batch assay procedures and semi-continuous mode using a continuously stirred bioreactor. The batch assays had a working volume of 400mL, which included a mixture of anaerobic microorganisms, anaerobic media and the substrate being tested. The assays were incubated at 35°C and the daily gas pressure and gas volume were monitored. The bioreactor had a working volume of 4L and was fed weekly with a different wastewater. Gas chromatography was used to determine the methane content of the biogas.

Experimental results indicated that powder milk produced the most biogas, totalling 61 mL biogas/100mg/L TOC at STP, of the easily biodegradable substrates. This indicated that complex substrates were suitable for anaerobic digestion. For experiments conducted on abattoir wastewater using anaerobic media to supplement nutrients, 6.2mL CH4/100mg/L DTOC at STP, 7.0mL CH4/100mg/L DTOC at STP and 110.4mL CH4/100mg/L DTOC at STP, were produced by yard water, blood water and saveall water respectively. Experiments were also conducted to analyse if the addition of anaerobic media increased or decreased methane production. The results indicated that without anaerobic media, 4.7mL CH4/100mg/L DTOC at STP, 4.0mL CH4/100mg/L DTOC at STP and 118mL CH4/100mg/L DTOC at STP were produced by yard water, blood water and saveall water respectively. The results obtained using the bioreactor indicated that a combination of the three wastewaters produced increased volumes of methane totalling, 532mL CH4/100mg/L DTOC at STP.

This research will give insight into the volumes of methane that could be produced from abattoir wastewater and provide assistance in determining the feasibility of utilising methane as a supplement energy source.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Supervisors: Aravinthan, Vasanthadevi
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2012 02:33
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2012 02:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: methane; abattoir wastewater; supplement energy source
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090508 Water Quality Engineering
09 Engineering > 0907 Environmental Engineering > 090703 Environmental Technologies
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4004 Chemical engineering > 400499 Chemical engineering not elsewhere classified
40 ENGINEERING > 4011 Environmental engineering > 401102 Environmentally sustainable engineering

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