Bioresource Technology, Vol.272, 326-336, 2019
Incorporating anaerobic co-digestion of steam exploded or ammonia fiber expansion pretreated sugarcane residues with manure into a sugarcane-based bioenergy-livestock nexus
The co-digestion of pretreated sugarcane lignocelluloses with dairy cow manure (DCM) as a bioenergy production and waste management strategy, for intensive livestock farms located in sugarcane regions, was investigated. Ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) increased the nitrogen content and accelerated the biodegradability of sugarcane bagasse (SCB) and cane leaf matter (CLM) through the cleavage of lignin carbohydrate crosslinks, resulting in the highest specific methane yields (292-299 L CH4/kg VSadded), biogas methane content (57-59% v/v) and biodegradation rates, with or without co-digestion with DCM. To obtain comparable methane yields, untreated and steam exploded (StEx) SCB and CLM had to be co-digested with DCM, at mass ratios providing initial C/N ratios in the range of 18 to 35. Co-digestion with DCM improved the nutrient content of the solid digestates, providing digestates that could be used as biofertilizer to replace CLM that is removed from sugarcane fields during green harvesting.