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Optimizing Hydrogen and Methane Production from a MixALCO Process-Derived Sludge by Thermo-chemical Means

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

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009780.(doi:10.13031/2013.29989)
Authors:   Eliasu Azinyui Teiseh, Sergio Capareda
Keywords:   Keywords: MixALCO process, sludge, pyrolysis, R.S.M., volumetric yields, efficieny, energy neutral.

The mixALCO process collects and ferments heterogeneous organic waste materials into a mixture of alcohols. Considerable amounts of sludge rich in lignin and hemi-cellulose and dead bacteria are generated in this process. We have successfully used the response surface method (R.S.M.) as a statistical experimental design technique to optimize the pyrolytic production of hydrogen and methane for downstream use in the mixALCO process. With feedrate (lb of feed/minute) modeled as auger R.P.M.- and temperature (degree Celsius) as main effect variables, only temperature appeared to be the significant variable determining gas production. Maximum hydrogen and methane volumetric yields of 45.4 and 20.0 % respectively were obtained at 750 and 770 C. The only oxide of carbon produced was carbon monoxide and energy efficiency decreased from 68.6 % at 630 to 43.4 % at 770 C. Irrespective of the efficiency, the process leaves no energy footprint.

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