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Environmental Engineering Research 1998;3(1): 31-40.
Pilot Scale Conversion of Terrestrial Biomass to Methane
Ho Kang
Department of Environmental Engineering Chungnam National University Taejon 305-764, KOREA
Corresponding Author: Ho Kang ,
Received: October 6, 1997;  Accepted: February 6, 1998.
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The pilot scale reactor system, consisted of a 1.2 cubic meter volume reactor, was operated at thermophillic temperature(55℃) with leachate management in order to quantify the conversion efficiency of wood (poplar) to natural gas. The maximum gas production rates occurred in a few days and achieved a rate of 1.3 v/v-d with a methane content of approximately 60 percent. The average gas production was 0.14 v/v-d for the 70-day digestion period, and 24 percent of the volatile solids were converted to methane during this period. The graphical determination of the ultimate biodegradability of poplar(wood) was estimated as 30 percent The average decay reaction rate coefficient was 0.024day-1. which is approximately double the long-term continuous conversion rate achieved in the small scale reactors. Although this scale-up experiment was successful and showed a stable start up and gas production, the conversion efficiencies were relatively low. In order to use wood as a gas substrate, it would be essential to increase the biodegradability by identifying strains that have a lower lignin content.
Keywords: Poplar | Wood Digestion | Conversion | Methane | Biodegradability
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