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The anaerobic co-digestion of sheep bedding and ⩾ 50% cattle manure increases biogas production and improves biofertilizer quality

The anaerobic co-digestion of sheep bedding and ⩾ 50% cattle manure increases biogas production and improves biofertilizer quality

Waste Management 46: 612-618

Sheep manure pellets are peculiarly shaped as small 'capsules' of limited permeability and thus are difficult to degrade. Fragmentation of manure pellets into a homogeneous mass is important for decomposition by microorganisms, and occurs naturally by physical shearing due to animal trampling, when sheep bedding is used. However, the high lignocellulose content of sheep bedding may limit decomposition of sheep manure. Here, we evaluated if co-digestion of sheep bedding with cattle manure would improve the yield and quality of the useful products of anaerobic digestion of sheep bedding--biogas and biofertilizer--by providing a source of nutrients and readily available carbon. Mixtures of sheep bedding and cattle manure in varying proportions (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% cattle manure) were added to 6-L digesters, used in a batch system, and analyzed by uni and multivariate statistical tools. PC1, which explained 64.96% of data variability, can be referred to as 'organic fraction/productivity', because higher rates of organic fraction consumption (COD, cellulose and hemicellulose contents) led to higher digester productivity (biogas production, nutrient concentration, and sample stability changes). Therefore, productivity and organic fraction variables were most influenced by manure mixtures with higher (⩾ 50%) or lower (⩽ 25%) ratios of cattle manure, respectively. Increasing the amount of cattle manure up to 50% enhanced the biogas potential production from 142 L kg(-1)TS (0% of cattle manure) to 165, 171, 160 L biogas kg(-1)TS for the mixtures containing 100%, 75% and 50% of cattle manure, respectively. Our results show that the addition of ⩾ 50% cattle manure to the mixture increases biogas production and improves the quality of the final biofertilizer.

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Accession: 059039414

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PMID: 26341827

DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2015.08.040

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