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Energies 2018, 11(3), 516; doi:10.3390/en11030516

Mechanical and Alkaline Hydrothermal Treated Corn Residue Conversion in to Bioenergy and Biofertilizer: A Resource Recovery Concept

School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G2W1, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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In this research fall time harvested corn residue (CR) was first mechanically pretreated to produce 5 mm chopped and <500 µm ground particles, which underwent an anaerobic digestion (AD) process to produce biomethane and biofertilizer. Another sample of CR was pretreated by an alkaline hydrothermal (HT) process using 1%, 2% and 3% NaOH to produce solid biocarbon and the resulting alkaline hydrothermal process water (AHTPW), a co-product of biocarbon, underwent fast digestion under AD conditions to produce biomethane and biofertilizer. A predetermined HT process of 240 °C for 30 min was considered and the effect of alkali content on the HT process for biocarbon and biomethane product a rate of 8.21 MJ kg−1 and 9.23 MJ kg−1 of raw CR, respectively. Among the three selected alkaline HT processes, the 1% NaOH HT process produced the highest hybrid bioenergy of 11.39 MJ kg−1 of raw CR with an overall energy recovery of 62.82% of raw CR. The AHTPW of 2% and 3% NaOH HT-treated CR did not produce considerable amount of biomethane and their biocarbons contained 3.44 MJ kg−1 and 3.27 MJ kg−1 of raw CR of bioenergy, respectively. The biomethane produced from 5 mm chopped CR, <500 µm ground CR and 1% alkaline AHTPW for 30 days retention time were of 275.38 L kg−1 volatile solid (VS), 309.59 L kg−1 VS and 278.70 L kg−1 VS, respectively, compared to non-treated CR of 144–187 L kg−1 VS. Nutrient enriched AD digestate is useable as liquid fertilizer. Biocarbon, biomethane and biofertilizer produced from the 1% alkaline HT process at 240 °C for 30 min can reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of Ontario. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomethane; bioenergy; biofertilizer; alkaline hydrothermal; anaerobic digestion biomethane; bioenergy; biofertilizer; alkaline hydrothermal; anaerobic digestion

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Paul, S.; Dutta, A.; Defersha, F. Mechanical and Alkaline Hydrothermal Treated Corn Residue Conversion in to Bioenergy and Biofertilizer: A Resource Recovery Concept. Energies 2018, 11, 516.

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