Batch Reactor Pretreatment of Brewer’s Spent Grain Enables Bioenergy Production From Continuous Anaerobic Digestion

Author: Katherine Vaz Gomes

Advisor: Michael Timko

Category: Undergraduate

This project used a continuous reactor to study the anaerobic digestion of barley bagasse using a batch reactor as a source of daily feed. Anaerobic digestion is the process of microorganisms digesting organic material in the absence of oxygen: producing biogas, which is useful as a versatile fuel because of its methane content. This project analyzed the resultant biogas and considered reactor stability metrics such as alkalinity, chemical oxygen demand, and ammoniacal nitrogen content. On average, the continuous reactor produced 745 mL of biogas per day with 58% methane. The energy production potential of the reactor was considered to analyze whether this method could be a sustainable energy source for brewers.

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