Event Title

Renewable Energy Potential by Methanogenesis through Anaerobic Digestion

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

18-4-2016 10:00 AM

End Date

18-4-2016 11:30 AM

Student's Major

Mechanical and Civil Engineering

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

Stephen Druschel

Mentor's Department

Mechanical and Civil Engineering

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

Today, there is an increasing demand for energy to support daily activities plus a desire to reduce reliance on fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas). This demand leads to the development of more renewable energy sources for power generation. This research analyzed the potential for methane production, which can be used to run a turbine and generate electricity, using anaerobic digestion of high strength wastes, specifically agricultural byproducts of soybean oil refining. Anaerobic digestion is a collection of processes (methanogenesis) by which microorganisms break down organic carbon in the absence of oxygen to produce a biogas that consists of approximately 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide. In this research, 300 mL experimental units were filled with high strength waste material, additive supplements and water. A small aliquot of biomass from an existing anaerobic digester that converts wastewater sludge into methane was used as an inoculum. Up to fifteen experimental units at a time were placed on individual magnetic stir plates within a temperature-controlled incubator. Gases produced in an experimental unit were passed through a carbon dioxide removal (scrubbing) solution then measured using a volumetric flow counter to determine methane production. Results were evaluated first by waste material and supplement treatment in a factorial/effects screening approach, then for optimum amount of preferred treatments to narrow design approaches. This project concludes with a cost-benefit analysis of anaerobic digestion-methane production on a full scale implementation, with additional cost offsets gained by elimination of off-site disposal for the agricultural byproduct and waste.

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Apr 18th, 10:00 AM Apr 18th, 11:30 AM

Renewable Energy Potential by Methanogenesis through Anaerobic Digestion

CSU Ballroom

Today, there is an increasing demand for energy to support daily activities plus a desire to reduce reliance on fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas). This demand leads to the development of more renewable energy sources for power generation. This research analyzed the potential for methane production, which can be used to run a turbine and generate electricity, using anaerobic digestion of high strength wastes, specifically agricultural byproducts of soybean oil refining. Anaerobic digestion is a collection of processes (methanogenesis) by which microorganisms break down organic carbon in the absence of oxygen to produce a biogas that consists of approximately 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide. In this research, 300 mL experimental units were filled with high strength waste material, additive supplements and water. A small aliquot of biomass from an existing anaerobic digester that converts wastewater sludge into methane was used as an inoculum. Up to fifteen experimental units at a time were placed on individual magnetic stir plates within a temperature-controlled incubator. Gases produced in an experimental unit were passed through a carbon dioxide removal (scrubbing) solution then measured using a volumetric flow counter to determine methane production. Results were evaluated first by waste material and supplement treatment in a factorial/effects screening approach, then for optimum amount of preferred treatments to narrow design approaches. This project concludes with a cost-benefit analysis of anaerobic digestion-methane production on a full scale implementation, with additional cost offsets gained by elimination of off-site disposal for the agricultural byproduct and waste.

Recommended Citation

Nguyen, Thu. "Renewable Energy Potential by Methanogenesis through Anaerobic Digestion." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 18, 2016.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2016/poster-session-A/45