Performance of a sisal fibre fixed-bed anaerobic digester for biogas production from sisal pulp waste
A single stage anaerobic digester employing a sisal fibre waste fixed bed was studied for biogas production from sisal pulp waste. The fibre was colonized by microorganisms involved in biogas production. The sisal pulp waste to be digested was fed from the top and was sprinkled intermittently with recirculating leachate from the material. Organic loading rates of 0.1-10 kg volatile solids (VS) m-3d-1 could be applied and methane yields in the range of 0.13-0.48 m3 CH4 kg-1 VS added were obtained. The average methane content in the biogas produced from sisal pulp waste was 55%, and the biogas production rate was 0.15-0.54 m3m-3d-1. The methane yield obtained and the highest organic loading rate that could be sustained by this simple, fixed-bed digester are indications of an attractive system in terms of performance and reliability. It is concluded that the sisal fibre waste fixed bed is a promising carrier for microbes and can be employed for long-term operation without changing the bed.
Tanzania Journal of Science Vol. 31 (2) 2005: pp. 41-52