Two-stage anaerobic dry digestion of blue mussel and reed
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Blue mussels and reeds were explored as a new biomass type in the Kalmar County of Sweden to improve renewable transport fuel production in the form of biogas. Anaerobic digestion of blue mussels and reeds was performed at a laboratory-scale to evaluate biogas production in a two-stage dry digestion system. The two-stage system consisted of a leach bed reactor and an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor. The two-stage system was efficient for the digestion of blue mussels, including shells, and a methane yield of 0.33 m(3)/kg volatile solids (VS) was obtained. The meat fraction of blue mussels was easily solubilised in the leach bed reactor and the soluble organic materials were rapidly converted in the UASB reactor from which 68% of the methane was produced. However, the digestion of mussels including shells gave low production capacity, which may result in a less economically viable biogas process. A low methane potential, 0.22 m(3)/kg VS, was obtained in the anaerobic two-stage digestion of reeds after 107 days: however, it was comparable to similar types of biomass, such as straw. About 80% of the methane was produced in the leach bed reactor. Hence, only a leach bed reactor (dry digestion) may be needed to digest reed. The two-stage anaerobic digestion of blue mussels and reeds resulted in an energy potential of 16.6 and 10.7 GWh/year, respectively, from the estimated harvest amounts. Two-stage anaerobic digestion of new organic materials such as blue mussels and reeds can be a promising biomass resource as land-based biomass start to be limited and conflict with food resources can be avoided. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.