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Anaerobic Digestion Feasibility Protocol for Fruit and Vegetable Processors

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

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  076067.(doi:10.13031/2013.23458)
Authors:   Erin M Henderson, Steven I Safferman
Keywords:   Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Fruit, Vegetable, Processing waste, Respirometer

Many fruit and vegetable processors produce large volumes of high strength wastewater that may be inadequately treated by land application. Anaerobic digestion prior to land application reduces or eliminates the need for soil treatment and produces biogas that has the potential to provide the processor with an energy resource. Alternatively, energy recovery may the primary consideration in exploring anaerobic digestion, without regard to wastewater disposal. To help food processors determine the economic feasibility of instituting an anaerobic digester, a protocol specific to fruit and vegetable processing waste is currently being developed. The protocol assesses a waste stream's pretreatment requirement (e.g. pH buffering or reducing solids content), potential methane production (m3 CH4 per kg COD) using an anaerobic respirometer, and biogas quality (CH4:CO2). Opportunities for methane use at the processing facility for heat or electricity generation are considered. Processor needs, wastewater parameters and respirometer results are considered to indicate if anaerobic digestion should be further pursued.

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