Benefits of supplementing an industrial waste anaerobic digester with energy crops for increased biogas production.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Currently, there is increasing competition for waste as feedstock for the growing number of biogas plants. This has led to fluctuation in feedstock supply and biogas plants being operated below maximum capacity. The feasibility of supplementing a protein/lipid-rich industrial waste (pig manure, slaughterhouse waste, food processing and poultry waste) mesophilic anaerobic digester with carbohydrate-rich energy crops (hemp, maize and triticale) was therefore studied in laboratory scale batch and continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTR) with a view to scale-up to a commercial biogas process. Co-digesting industrial waste and crops led to significant improvement in methane yield per ton of feedstock and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio as compared to digestion of the industrial waste alone. Biogas production from crops in combination with industrial waste also avoids the need for micronutrients normally required in crop digestion. The batch co-digestion methane yields were used to predict co-digestion methane yield in full scale operation. This was done based on the ratio of methane yields observed for laboratory batch and CSTR experiments compared to full scale CSTR digestion of industrial waste. The economy of crop-based biogas production is limited under Swedish conditions; therefore, adding crops to existing industrial waste digestion could be a viable alternative to ensure a constant/reliable supply of feedstock to the anaerobic digester.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Industrial Biotechnology


  • Co-digestion, Anaerobic digestion, Energy crops, Industrial waste, Micronutrients, Methane yield, C:N ratio
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-59
JournalWaste Management: international journal of integrated waste management, science and technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch