SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1984

Energy Recovery from Agroindustrial Wastes with Prevalently Solute Pollutants Using Fixed-Bed Anaerobic Reactors


A process for anaerobic digestion of agroindustrial wastes containing mainly soluble pollutants has been developed utilizing fixed-bed reactors.

A pilot plant at a sugar refinery with two reactors in parallel, respectively of 10 and 50 m3 operating volume, has functioned successfully in treating wastes produced in regenerating ion-exchange columns used to purify the sugar juices. With an hydraulic retention time (HRT) of less than one day, a maximum gas production of 11.5 volumes per operating volume of reactor per day was obtained together with a reduction of up to 80% of the biological oxygen demand for five days (BOD5), and volatile solids and up to 70% of the chemical oxygen demand (COD).

The gas contained from 70 to 75% methane.

On the basis of these results, a full-scale industrial plant was built which has produced up to 7500 m3 a day of biogas. The process has been found suitable for a large number of industrial wastes, especially when plants are seasonally operated.

Author Information

Sanna, P
ASSORENI, ENI Group Research Association, Laboratori Microbiologici, Rome, Italy
Camilli, M
ASSORENI, ENI Group Research Association, Laboratori Microbiologici, Rome, Italy
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Developed by Committee: D34
Pages: 248–259
DOI: 10.1520/STP32705S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4916-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0405-1