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Particle size reduction optimization of Laminaria spp. biomass for enhanced methane production

Tedesco, Silvia and Mac Lochlainn, D and Olabi, AG (2014) Particle size reduction optimization of Laminaria spp. biomass for enhanced methane production. Energy, 76. pp. 857-862. ISSN 0360-5442

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Abstract

Recent studies have reported improved biogas and methane yield from marine biomass when the particle size is mechanically reduced and the specific surface area available to enzymes is increased prior to anaerobic incubation. Although the advantage of reducing the particle size has been identified, an ideal particle size that would offer greater yield with a positive energy balance has not been identified for such substrate to date. As particle size reduction by mechanical means is often highly demanding in energy, this paper attempts to fill this gap for macroalgal biomass by identifying the particle size distribution allowing the highest biogas and methane yields obtained in a previous work. The study estimated that when about 80% of the particles are sized below 1.6mm2, a biogas and methane yield improvement of up to 52% and 53% respectively can be achieved. The results are discussed in relation to the biogas yield, related methane content and potential inhibitory phenomena occurred during the fermentation.

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