Anaerobic Co-digestion of Chicken Processing Wastewater and Crude Glycerol from Biodiesel



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The main objective of this thesis was to study the anaerobic digestion (AD) of wastewater from a chicken processing facility and of crude glycerol from local biodiesel operations. The AD of these substrates was conducted in bench-scale reactors operated in the batch mode at 35?C. The secondary objective was to evaluate two sources of glycerol as co-substrates for AD to determine if different processing methods for the glycerol had an effect on CH? production. The biogas yields were higher for co-digestion than for digestion of wastewater alone, with average yields at 1 atmosphere and 0?C of 0.555 and 0.540 L (g VS added)??, respectively. Another set of results showed that the glycerol from an on-farm biodiesel operation had a CH? yield of 0.702 L (g VS added)??, and the glycerol from an industrial/commercial biodiesel operation had a CH? yield of 0.375 L (g VS added)??. Therefore, the farm glycerol likely had more carbon content than industrial glycerol. It was believed that the farm glycerol had more impurities, such as free fatty acids, biodiesel and methanol. In conclusion, anaerobic co-digestion of chicken processing wastewater and crude glycerol was successfully applied to produce biogas rich in CH?.