inoculum and zeolite synergistic effect on anaerobic digestion of poultry manure

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  • This article was downloaded by: [University of Birmingham]On: 11 November 2014, At: 04:29Publisher: Taylor & FrancisInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

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    Inoculum and zeolite synergistic effect on anaerobicdigestion of poultry manureIoannis A. Fotidisa, Panagiotis G. Kougiasab, Ioannis D. Zaganasb, Thomas A. Kotsopoulosb &Gerasimos G. Martzopoulosba Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Building 113,Kgs. Lyngby DK-2800, Denmarkb Lab of Alternative Energy Sources in Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture, AristotleUniversity of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, GreeceAccepted author version posted online: 12 Nov 2013.Published online: 09 Dec 2013.

    To cite this article: Ioannis A. Fotidis, Panagiotis G. Kougias, Ioannis D. Zaganas, Thomas A. Kotsopoulos & GerasimosG. Martzopoulos (2014) Inoculum and zeolite synergistic effect on anaerobic digestion of poultry manure, EnvironmentalTechnology, 35:10, 1219-1225, DOI: 10.1080/09593330.2013.865083

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  • Environmental Technology, 2014Vol. 35, No. 10, 12191225,

    Inoculum and zeolite synergistic effect on anaerobic digestion of poultry manure

    Ioannis A. Fotidisa, Panagiotis G. Kougiasa,b, Ioannis D. Zaganasb, Thomas A. Kotsopoulosb,and Gerasimos G. Martzopoulosb

    aDepartment of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Building 113, Kgs. Lyngby DK-2800, Denmark;bLab of Alternative Energy Sources in Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki,

    Thessaloniki 54124, Greece

    (Received 14 July 2013; accepted 7 November 2013 )

    Poultry manure is an ammonia-rich substrate due to its high content of proteins and amino acids. Ammonia is the majorinhibitor of anaerobic digestion (AD) process, affecting biogas production and causing great economic losses to the biogasplants. In this study, the effect of different natural zeolite dosages on the mesophilic AD of poultry manure inoculated with anon-acclimatized to ammonia inoculum (dairymanure) was investigated. Additionally, a comparative analysis was performedbetween the data extracted from this study and the results of a previous study, which has been conducted under the sameexperimental conditions but with the use of ammonia acclimatized inoculum (swine manure). At 5 and 10 g zeolite L1, themethane yield of poultry manure was 43.4% and 80.3% higher compared with the experimental set without zeolite addition.However, the ammonia non-acclimatized inoculum was not efficient in digesting poultry manure even in the presence of 10 gzeolite L1, due to low methane production (only 39%) compared with the maximum theoretical yield. Finally, ammoniaacclimatized inoculum and zeolite have demonstrated a possible synergistic effect, which led to a more efficient AD ofpoultry manure. The results of this study could potentially been used by the biogas plant operators to efficiently digest poultrymanure.

    Keywords: ammonia toxicity; biogas; poultry manure; zeolite; dairy manure inoculum

    1. IntroductionPoultry breeding industries became more intense andmechanised producing vast amount of wastes.[1] Tradi-tional treatment of these wastes (composting, soil appli-cation, etc.) is very difficult due to their unique physic-ochemical characteristics (high chemical oxygen demand(COD) concentration, high ammonia levels, etc.) caus-ing serious problems to the treating facilities.[2] Thus,greenhouse gases (CH4 and CO2) and ammonia emittedfrom the stored poultry manure can degrade the qualityof the atmosphere. Furthermore, direct application of thepoultry manure to the soil as fertilizer (nitrogen and phos-phorus source) could lead to pollution of the surface andground water resources.[3,4] The organic components ofpoultry manure are highly digestible; therefore, anaerobicdigestion (AD) could be considered as the best methodto reduce the organic load of the waste and simulta-neously to produce bioenergy.[5] Additionally, untreatedpoultry manure has higher biogas potential with better pro-duction rate compared with other livestock wastes (e.g.cow and swine manure) as it contains more nutrientsand nitrogen.[6,7] AD is a well-known biological pro-cess mediated by anaerobic protozoa, fungi, bacteria andarchaea, which degrade complex organic material (e.g.

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    fats, proteins, carbohydrates) to biogas.[8] However, poul-try manure is a substrate rich in ammonia (ionized+free ammonia) which in high concentrations is the majorinhibitor of biomethanation process. Most of the ammo-nia in poultry manure derives from uric acid, urea andproteins.[9] Free ammonia has been identified as the mosttoxic form of ammonia inhibiting AD process.[10] Thefree ammonia concentration of a substrate is increasingalongside with pH and temperature.[11] It is generallyaccepted that ammonia and free ammonia concentra-tions above 3 g NH+4 NL1 and 0.15 g NH3 NL1,respectively, are inhibiting non-acclimatized to ammoniamethanogenic cultures independently of pH levels andtemperature.[12,13]

    Many solutions have been proposed to alleviate ammo-nia toxicity in AD of poultry manure.[1] For example, acommon solution is to dilute the substrate with water,[14]but this method is proven cost-expensive due to largeamount of diluted wastes to be treated. Another commonapproach to degrade poultry manure is to co-digest it withammonia-free substrates.[1] However, ammonia -free sub-strates are either site-specific or seasonable. Therefore, anefficient direct AD method of poultry manure has to bedeveloped.

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    A promising solution to counteract the ammonia tox-icity problem is the addition of clay mineral compounds(e.g. andesite, bentonite and natural zeolite).[1517] Zeo-lite can entrap the ionized ammonia due to its high cationexchange capacity.[18]Many studies have reported the ben-eficial use of zeolite in AD process under high ammoniaconcentrations.[16,19,20] However, until now, zeolite hasbeen used along with ammonia acclimatized methanogenicinocula (e.g. derived from swine manure-fed digesters).Most of the full-scale digesters operating today use dairymanure as the primary substrate. Dairy manure has lowammonia concentrations compared with swine or poultrymanure, and anaerobic cultures developed in reactors fedwith dairy manure are not acclimatized to high ammo-nia concentrations. Therefore, the effect of zeolite on themesophilic AD of poultry manure inoculated with well-digested dairy manure (non-acclimatized to high ammonialevels) has to be addressed.

    The primary aim of this study was to investigate theeffect of different natural zeolite dosages on the mesophilicAD of poultry manure inoculated with a non-acclimatizedto ammonia inoculum, derived from a reactor fed with dairymanure. An additional aim was to perform a comparativeanalysis of the data extracted from this studywith the resultsderived from a previous study, which has been conductedunder the same experimental conditions but with the use ofammonia acclimatized inoculum, derived from a digesterfed with swine manure.[15]

    2. Materials and methods2.1. Digestion of poultry manure with dairy inoculum

    under different zeolite dosages2.1.1. ZeoliteThe natural zeolite used in the present study was obtainedfrom Xerovouni location of the Avdella-Metaxades Area(Prefecture of Evros, Greece). The chemical andmineralog-ical composition of the zeolite is given in Table 1.[21] Theparticle size of the used zeolite was < 2.0mm.

    Table 1. Chemical andmineralogical composition of zeolite.

    Chemical composition Mineralogical composition

    Oxides % mass Minerals % mass



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