Biogas production in an anaerobic sequencing batch reactor by using tequila vinasses: effect of pH and temperature
In recent years, anaerobic digestion has been recognized as a suitable alternative for tequila vinasses treatment due to its high energy recovery and chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency. However, key factors such as the lack of suitable monitoring schemes and the presence of load disturbances, which may induce unstable operating conditions in continuous systems, have limited its application at full scale. Therefore, the aim of this work was to evaluate the anaerobic sequencing batch reactor (AnSBR) configuration in order to provide a low cost and easy operation alternative for the treatment of these complex effluents. In particular, the AnSBR was evaluated under different pH–temperature combinations: 7 and 32 °C; 7 and 38 °C; 8 and 32 °C and 8 and 38 °C. Results showed that the AnSBR configuration was able to achieve high COD removal efficiencies (around 85%) for all the tested conditions, while the highest methane yield was obtained at pH 7 and 38 °C (0.29 L/g COD added). Furthermore, high robustness was found in all the AnSBR experiments. Therefore, the full-scale application of the AnSBR technology for the treatment of tequila vinasses is quite encouraging, in particular for small and medium size tequila industries that operate under seasonal conditions.