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Mesophilic Process and Kinetics Studies of Selected Biomolecules as Potential Enhancers of Biomethanization of Cow Dung in an Anaerobic Tubular Batch Reactor

Paul Njogu, Francis Xavier Ochieng, Benard Ogembo, Stephen Ondimu, Christopher Kanali, Erick Ronoh, Daniel Omondi, Hiram Ndiritu

Abstract: Mesophilic biogas production and substrate decomposition is one of the significant limiting steps in biogas generation. The rate of generation and quality often affect the viability of biogas systems. This study assessed the potential for biogas process catalysis using powdered Sorghum bicolor L., Zea mays, and Pennisetum glaucum. The kinetics and biogas generation processes were studied. Experiments were conducted in 1 m3 tubular batch reactors, where batches were dosed with various organic biomolecules. Results show that the use of P. glaucum L. and S. bicolor L. reduced the biogas retention times significantly. Biogas generation commenced after the first day for digesters fed with S. bicolor L. and P. glaucum L. while one with Z. mays and control occurred on day two. The rate of biomethanation and methane content were enhanced. S. bicolor L. led to the highest methane content. Findings reveal that locally available organic biomolecules improved biogas quality and quantity.
Keywords: Mesophilic / Kinetics / Biomolecules / Biomethanation / Reaction Rates / Anaerobic

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