Application of Various Pretreatment Methods to Enhance Biogas Potential of Waste Chicken Feathers

University essay from Högskolan i Borås/Institutionen Ingenjörshögskolan

Abstract: Chicken feathers are the most abundant keratinous biomass in the world. Disposal of thehuge and increasing volume of waste feathers presents as a major concern for poultryindustry. On the other hand, energy and material recovery of this valuable protein sourceis an important issue for organic solid waste treatment and bioenergy generation.Anaerobic digestion is an environmentally and economically promising alternativeprocess for biogas production of waste feathers.In this study in order to enhance the methane potential of batch anaerobic digestion ofchicken feathers this waste was treated by various kinds of pretreatments includingthermal, thermo-chemical, enzymatic, thermo-enzymatic and chemo-enzymatic methods.Also the effect of different treatment conditions on the methane yield was investigated.As a whole, thermo-chemical pretreatment with lime (Ca(OH)2) rendered the mostsignificant effect on enhancement of the chicken feathers methane potential. In particularlime treated triplicate samples under treatment condition of 40g TS feather/l water, 0.1gCa (OH)2 /g TS feather, 100°C and 30 min produced the highest amount of methane (anaverage maximum volume of 480 Nml/g VS, which is about 96.8% of the theoreticalmethane potential of protein), during 50 days of anaerobic incubation. Increasing theoperational parameters such as feather concentration, lime loading, temperature andreaction time improved the feathers solublisation resulting in a higher soluble chemicaloxygen demand (SCOD) concentration of the samples but inserted negative impacts onthe anaerobic digestion performance. Although other pretreatment methods improved theSCOD concentrations of the feathers too, compared to the lime treatment those methodsdidn’t show considerable effects on the enhancement of methane yield from the chickenfeathers. Thermo-enzymatic, enzymatic, and thermal pretreated triplicate samplesproduced an average maximum of 185 Nml/g VS, 154 Nml/g VS, and 143 Nml/g VS(37.3%, 31%, 28.8% of the theoretical methane potential) respectively, during 33 days of50 days of anaerobic incubation. Especially, chemo-enzymatic pretreated sample showednegative methane potential of only 41 Nml/g VS, i.e. 8% of the theoretical methanepotential. Consequently, lime pretreatment under the above recommended conditions canbe suggested for hydrolysis of chicken feathers to achieve significant enhancement of itsmethane potential.

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