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Research article2012Peer reviewed

Effects of mechanical pre-treatment on the biogas yield from ley crop silage

Schnürer, Anna; Lindmark, Johan; Leksell, Niklas; Thorin, Eva


Previous studies on substrates for biogas production have shown that different types of pre-treatments make the material more accessible for microbial degradation by breaking down the complex structure of the organic material, thereby increasing their potential for gas production. In this paper, two different mechanical pre-treatment apparatus, i.e. a Grubben deflaker (Gd) and a Krima disperser (Kd), were tested in a full scale setup to evaluate their effects on ley crop silage. The treatments were investigated with regard to their effects on particle size, methane potential, capacity and energy balance. The results after 115 days of incubation in a batch assay show that methane production increased by 59% and 43% respectively after grinding with Gd and Kd. In both treatments, 90% of the ley crop was ground to particles of less than 2 mm and more than 50% of the sample was reduced to particles smaller than 0.125 mm. The energy balance was positive for Gd and around the break-even point for Kd. Analysis of the setup showed that Kd had almost twice the capacity of the Gd. If installed in the co-digestion biogas plant Vaxtkraft in Vasteras, Sweden, the Gd and Kd could increase annual biogas yields by 790 MW h and 585 MW h respectively. (c) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Mechanical pre-treatment; Biochemical methane potential; Biogas; Ley crop silage; Particle size

Published in

Applied Energy
2012, Volume: 97, number: SI, pages: 498-502

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