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Energies 2018, 11(3), 516; https://doi.org/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
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Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract

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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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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