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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  076068.(doi:10.13031/2013.23316)
Authors:   Ioannis M Polematidis, Abhay K Koppar, Pratap C Pullammanappallil, David P Chynoweth, Arthur A Teixeira, Sheldon - Seaborn, Robert - Legrand
Keywords:   Keywords: Sugar beet; beet pulp; raffinate; tailings; anaerobic digestion; biochemical methane potential

Sugar beet processing produces significant quantities of waste streams and by products containing large organic fractions. These include a wastewater and waste tailings streams, and the by products pressed spent pulp and raffinate. Sugar production is an energy intensive operation and rising costs of energy is a concern to manufacturers. In this paper the biogasification potential of the waste streams and byproducts as a means of producing fuel on site was investigated. These feedstocks were individually anaerobically digested at thermophilic conditions (55oC) in a batch mode of operation. It was found that spent pulp, tailings, raffinate was readily biogasified and methane potentials were respectively 340, 240 and 226 L/kg VS. The solids streams spent pulp and tailings were digested within 7 and 9 days respectively and over 90% of dry matter was degraded. The biogasification characteristics were comparable to other biomass feedstocks implying technical feasibility. Using American Crystal Sugar Company's East Grand Forks plant as a case study, biogasification of all these feedstocks including the wastewater can produce sufficient methane to replace 62% of current coal usage leading to savings of over $9.4 million per year. If the biogas is used as fuel in a combined heat and power (CHP) generation system, all electrical power needs of the plant can be produced on site along with displacing 50% of coal usage resulting in savings of over $11 million per year.

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