Evaluation of biogas production from seaweed in batch tests and in UASB reactors combined with the removal of heavy metals.

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Seaweed can be anaerobically digested for the production of energy-rich methane. However, the use of seaweed digestate as a fertilizer may be restricted because of the high heavy metal content especially cadmium. Reducing the concentration of heavy metals in the digestate will enable its use as a fertilizer. In this laboratory-scale study, the potential of seaweed and its leachate in the production of methane were evaluated in batch tests. The effect of removing the heavy metals from seaweed leachate was evaluated in both batch test and treatment in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor. The heavy metals were removed from seaweed leachate using an imminodiacetic acid (IDA) polyacrylamide cryogel carrier. The methane yield obtained in the anaerobic digestion of seaweed was 0.12 N l CH(4)/g VS(added). The same methane yield was obtained when the seaweed leachate was used for methane production. The IDA-cryogel carrier was efficient in removing Cd(2+), Cu(2+), Ni(2+) and Zn(2+) ions from seaweed leachate. The removal of heavy metals in the seaweed leachate led to a decrease in the methane yield. The maximum sustainable organic loading rate (OLR) attained in the UASB reactor was 20.6 g tCOD/l/day corresponding to a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 12 h and with a total COD removal efficiency of about 81%. Hydrolysis and treatment with IDA cryogel reduced the heavy metals content in the seaweed leachate before methane production. This study also demonstrated the suitability of the treatment of seaweed leachate in a UASB reactor.


  • Valentine Nkemka
  • Marika Murto
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Industriell bioteknik
Sidor (från-till)1573-1579
TidskriftJournal of Environmental Management
Utgåva nummer7
StatusPublished - 2010
Peer review utfördJa