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The Effect of Trace Element Supplements on the Biomethane Potential of Food Waste Anaerobic Digestion

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

Citation:  2022 ASABE Annual International Meeting  2200574.(doi:10.13031/aim.202200574)
Authors:   Kelly M Graff, Jactone A Ogejo
Keywords:   Food waste, anaerobic digestion, trace elements, biomethane potential, greenhouse gas reduction

Abstract. Food waste is a desirable feedstock for anaerobic digestion as it contains high moisture and volatile solids content. Treating food waste using anaerobic processes may produce an undesirable accumulation of volatile fatty acids that can inhibit digestion. One solution to this problem is trace element supplementation. This study examined the effect of adding trace elements (calcium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, zinc) into food waste anaerobic digestion on organic waste destruction and methane yield. The biomethane potential was determined via the gas density-based biomethane potential method under mesophilic conditions (37°C) over 30 days. The three treatments in this study were (1) inoculum only, (2) food waste and inoculum (control), and (3) food waste, inoculum, and trace element solution. Between treatments, there was no significant difference in organic waste destruction (total solids, volatile solid, total chemical oxygen demand). On average, the cumulative biogas and methane produced were 41% and 23 % higher in the treatment with the trace element supplement than in control. There was no significant difference in biomethane potential between the treatment with and without the trace element supplement. Further work is needed to understand further the effect of this trace element supplement on the continuous anaerobic digestion of food waste.

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