Micro-oxygenation to increase biogas production

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Anaerobic digestion is a collection of processes by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen: the process is commonly used in mainstream wastewater treatments and can produce fuels as a byproduct.
The micro-injection of pure oxygen (O2) in anaerobic digestion represents an optimization of the digestion process for reduction of sulfides production.
The reduction of sulfides allows to improve the quality of the produced biogas and, potentially, to optimize the digestion processes with a subsequent increase in biogas production.

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Anaerobic digestion is a collection of processes by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen: the process is commonly used in mainstream wastewater treatments and can produce fuels as a byproduct.
The micro-injection of pure oxygen (O2) in anaerobic digestion represents an optimization of the digestion process for reduction of sulfides production.
The reduction of sulfides allows to improve the quality of the produced biogas and, potentially, to optimize the digestion processes with a subsequent increase in biogas production.

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Planned activities within PerFORM WATER 2030

The experimental activities regarding the micro-injection of pure oxygen in anaerobic digestion are part of the Recovery of energy and materials research line included in PerFORM WATER 2030.. They involve the installation of an oxygen injection system on the sludge recirculation of the anaerobic digester. The installation will allow to evaluate the effect of the micro-oxygenation process on the quality / quantity of the produced biogas.

Objectives and expected results

  • Improvement of biogas qualities in terms of residual sulfur content and increase in biogas production.

  • Identification of the key process parameters.

  • Development of a model for process control.

Description of the activities

  • Design, construction and installation of a pure oxygen micro-injection system in anaerobic digestion, with automatic control / operation.

  • Start-up, operation and monitoring of the ozonation plant and control of the operating parameters of the anaerobic digester in order to verify the performance and optimize the process.

  • Execution of specific ozonolysis tests of laboratory-scale and biogas production tests (BMP).

Pilot site

The experimental activities will be located at San Giuliano Milanese West WWTP (Wastewater treatment plant) operated by CAP Group.
For further information, please refer to the specific web-page dedicated to demonstration sites of PerFORM WATER 2030.

Partners involved

S.I.A.D. S.p.A. carries out the design, construction, installation and operation of the micro-oxygenation system, with on-line control of the biogas composition. SIAD also performs data collection and data processing.
Politecnico di Milano, provides the support for the design, the scientific support in the activities and conducts tests and analysis for verifing the biogas production. POLIMI's activities also include the management and development of a modeling of the entire process that allows the development of control and forecasting tools.
IRSA-CNR conducts micropollutant analyzes of digestate and sludge both in input and in output from the digester.
CAP Group provides the San Giuliano Ovest WWTP, as the location of the pilot plant; in particular, CAP makes available the anaerobic digester, preparing the plant adjustments and the necessary electrical-hydraulic connections.

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