Anaerobic biodegradation of sugar beet pulp

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Sugar beet pulp is a by-product of sugar production and consists mainly of cellulose, hemicellulose and pectin. Its composition is suitable for biological degradation. A possible alternative for the utilization of this material (besides cattle feeding) can be anaerobic methanogenic degradation. It has an additional advantage – biogas production. Beet pulp was treated by a two-step anaerobic process. The first step consisted of hydrolysis and acidification. The second step was methanogenesis. In this paper, observation of the process of anaerobic degradation and determination of optimal parameters is discussed. A laboratory-scale model for sugar beet pulp anaerobic biodegradation was operated. Results of model performance have shown very good pulp digestion characteristics. In addition, high efficiency removal of organic matter was achieved. Methane yield was over 0.360 m3 kg−1 dried pulp and excess sludge production was 0.094 g per gram COD added.

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