Laboratory-scale anaerobic sequencing batch reactor for treatment of stillage from fruit distillation

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This work describes batch anaerobic digestion tests carried out on stillages, the residue of the distillation process on fruit, in order to contribute to the setting of design parameters for a planned plant. The experimental apparatus was characterized by three reactors, each with a useful volume of 5 L. The different phases of the work carried out were: determining the basic components of the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of the stillages; determining the specific production of biogas; and estimating the rapidly biodegradable COD contained in the stillages. In particular, the main goal of the anaerobic digestion tests on stillages was to measure the parameters of specific gas production (SGP) and gas production rate (GPR) in reactors in which stillages were being digested using ASBR (anaerobic sequencing batch reactor) technology. Runs were developed with increasing concentrations of the feed. The optimal loads for obtaining the maximum SGP and GPR values were 8–9 gCOD L−1 and 0.9 gCOD g−1 volatile solids.

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