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A case study for biogas generation from covered anaerobic ponds treating abattoir wastewater: Investigation of pond performance and potential biogas production

Bernadette K. McCabe, Ihsan Hamawand, Peter Harris, Craig Baillie and Talal Yusaf

Applied Energy, 2014, vol. 114, issue C, 798-808

Abstract: Covered anaerobic ponds offer significant advantages to the red meat processing industry by capturing methane rich gas as a fuel source for bioenergy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). This paper presents the results of a novel-designed anaerobic pond system at an Australian abattoir in relation to pond performance and potential biogas production. Key findings in assessing the effectiveness of the system revealed that the covered ponds are capable of efficient wastewater decomposition and biogas production. The primary issue with the covered ponds at the abattoir was the build-up of fat/crust that prevented the accurate measurement of biogas and effective use of the cover. In the absence of field biogas data the novel application of the computer modelling software BioWin® was carried out to simulate chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal rates and subsequent biogas yield. The unique parameter used to fit field data was the fraction of the inlet COD due to a superficial crust which did not follow anaerobic digestion. Field data effluent COD removal rates were matched to simulated rates predicted by BioWin when measured influent COD was reduced to 30%. Biogas modelling results suggest significant variation in the economic benefit of biogas energy, with the quantity of biogas potentially varying tenfold (from 328m3/d to 3284m3/d) depending on site factors such as pond efficiency, pond configuration and operational practices.

Keywords: Anaerobic digestion; Wastewater; Biogas; Modelling; BioWin; Slaughterhouse (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:114:y:2014:i:c:p:798-808