Enhancing performance in anaerobic high-solids stratified bed digesters by straw bed implementation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Anaerobic high-solids single-stage stratified bed digesters have been found to be simple and flexible design candidates for small-scale reactors located in medium- to low-technology environments. In the present study, wheat straw was used as the starter material for the stratified bed. Upon green mass feeding, the anaerobically stabilised straw bed functioned both as a biofilm support and as a particulate filter. It enabled a direct onset of 7 kg VS m(-3) batch loads, added twice a week, and permitted a low but consistent bed permeability during feeding at an average superficial flow velocity of 1 m d(-1) to be achieved. Fed-batch tests with sugar beet tops in pilot- and laboratory-scale setups at an average loading rate of 2 kg VS m(-3) d(-1) resulted in average biogas production rates of 1.2-1.4 m(3) m(-3) d(-1) and methane yields of 0.31-0.36 m(3) kg(-1) VSadded. At the end of the laboratory-scale feeding trial, the 200 day old straw bed had compacted to 50% of its initial volume, without any negative effects on performance being detectable. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Industrial Biotechnology


  • lignocellulosics, fixed bed, farm-scale, dry digestion, packing density, crop residues, straw bed priming, foaming, intermittent leachate recycle
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-52
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch