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Energies 2013, 6(10), 5314-5332; doi:10.3390/en6105314

Decision Support for the Construction of Farm-Scale Biogas Digesters in Developing Countries with Cold Seasons

Biotechnology and Environmental Engineering, Institute of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Odense M 5230, Denmark
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Received: 12 July 2013 / Revised: 4 October 2013 / Accepted: 11 October 2013 / Published: 18 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass and Biofuels 2013)
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Abstract

Biogas production is a clean renewable energy source that can improve lives in developing countries. However, winter temperatures in some areas are too low to enable enough biogas production in small unheated digesters to meet the energy requirements of households. Low-cost, high yield reactors adapted to the local climate are needed in those situations. A decision-support model was developed to assist in the design of biogas reactors capable of meeting households’ year-round energy needs. Monthly biogas production relative to household energy needs was calculated for the scenario of suburban Hanoi, Vietnam. Calculations included pig number, slurry (manure water mixture) dilution, retention time and biogas/solar heating. Although using biogas to heat the digester increased biogas production, it did not lead to an energy surplus, particularly with the 1:9 slurry dilution rate commonly used on pig farms. However, at a 1:3 slurry dilution, the use of solar heating to provide 90% and biogas 10% of the heat required to heat the digester to 35 °C improved the biogas production by 50% compared to psychrophilic production. The energy needs of an average five-person family throughout the year required 17 fattening pigs. This model can establish the best solution for producing sufficient energy throughout the year.
Keywords: anaerobic digestion; developing countries; psychrophilic; heating; methane production; mathematical modeling; mesophilic anaerobic digestion; developing countries; psychrophilic; heating; methane production; mathematical modeling; mesophilic
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rennuit, C.; Sommer, S.G. Decision Support for the Construction of Farm-Scale Biogas Digesters in Developing Countries with Cold Seasons. Energies 2013, 6, 5314-5332.

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