NC State
Yang, Q., Wang, H., Larson, R., and Runge, T. (2017). "Comparative study of chemical pretreatments of dairy manure for enhanced biomethane production," BioRes. 12(4), 7363-7375.


Dairy manure containing partially digested plant cells is an inexpensive bioenergy feedstock. The carbohydrates and lignin that remain after digestion are typically processed in an anaerobic digester to produce biomethane, but due to the remaining material’s recalcitrance, the process has a low conversion efficiency. To improve the conversion of this lignocellulosic material, chemical, thermal, or biological pretreatments can be considered. This study compared several chemical pretreatments including dilute acid, sulfite, and alkali pretreatments for dairy manure as a bioenergy feedstock and analyzed their impact on biomethane production. The comparative study showed that a hot alkali pretreatment (180 °C, 30 min) can improve the methane production of dairy manure by 50%, which is more effective than dilute acid (6.8%), sulfite (26.3%), and cold or ambient alkali (19.8 to 32.8%) pretreatments. However, the ambient alkali pretreatment (23 °C, 12 h) was calculated to be more economically feasible because of the net energy production.

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