Optimization of Hydraulic Retention Time and Organic Loading Rate in Anaerobic Digestion of Squeezed Pineapple Liquid Wastes for Biogas Production
Pineapple wastes are produced in huge amount during the industrial canning process of pineapple; in Thailand over 400,000 tons per annum of canned pineapple exported leaving behind the waste. Besides the pulps and peels as solid wastes, the squeezed pineapple liquid wastes (SPLW) extracted from solid wastes can also be used for anaerobic digestion. In the present study, the anaerobic digestion of liquid squeezed from industrial pineapple peels was carried out using a lab-scale hybrid reactor. The reactor was operated for over 170 days with the hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 20 days decreasing down to 5 days and simultaneous control of organic loading rate (OLR). Under controlled conditions in the hybrid reactor, pH was maintained at 6.5–7.6 by adding alkaline for anaerobic microbial activity. Results showed that the chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency was at ≥ 90% for all conditions. The biogas production (mL/day) increased thoroughly from longer HRT to shorter HRT, as same as methane production with the maximum values (HRT 5 days, OLR 5 g/COD/ day with recirculation) of 55,130 and 30,322 mL/day, respectively. Moreover, the highest yields of biogas and methane were also investigated under similar conditions with the values of 0.504 and 0.277 L/gCOD, respectively. Interestingly, this optimization of both HRT and OLR of lab-scale anaerobic digestion process could be further practically applied to pilot or industrial scale in canned pineapple factories for biogas production.
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