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Developing of a process to recover energy and materials via membranes from AD

Project Leader
Bochmann Günther, Project Leader
Energieforschung - Kooperative F&E-Projekte - Experimentelle Entwicklung
Type of Research
Technological Development
Project partners
AAT Abwasser- und Abfalltechnik GmbH & Co, Weidachstraße 6, 6900 Bregenz, Austria.
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
AB Filtertechnik, Kaplanstrasse 7, 3430 Tulln, Austria.
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
AGES - Österreichische Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernährungssicherheit GmbH, Spargelfeldstraße 191, 1220 Wien, Austria.
Function of the Project Partner: Partner
Fuchs Werner, Project Staff
Gabauer Wolfgang, Project Staff
BOKU Research Units
Institute for Environmental Biotechnology
Funded by
Austrian Research Promotion Agency, Sensengasse 1, 1090 Wien, Austria
Organic residues from the meat and poultry industry represent a largely untapped resource. With anaerobic digestion the inherent energy of the in-company wastes (chicken manure and slaughterhouse waste) can be recovered to a large extent. By means of anaerobic digestion of these substrates, however, the high nitrogen or sulphur concentrations in chicken manure or slaughterhouse waste lead to an inhibition of microbial flora thus to low methane yields. Monodigestion of these residues, which is not jet established, is an excellent alternative to the use of specifically grown energy crops which lately has become the subject of intensive controversial discussion. The most common solution of this problem is the co-fermentation with renewable resources substrates that contain only low concentrations of interfering substances. However this significantly reduces the economic and environmental benefit of the biogas process.
In the NiMEM project an innovative membrane technique for integrated nitrogen removal will allow anaerobic mono-digestion of chicken manure and slaughterhouse waste in combination with a reasonable recycling of nutrients as organic fertilizer.
The removal of the inhibiting substances leads to an energy efficient production of biogas and increases the methane yield. For this purpose sulphur is recovered by microbiological oxidation of H2S from the biogas to sulfuric acid. The highly concentrated acid is used as absorption liquid during nitrogen removal and is recycled as ammonium sulfate. Thus a high-quality and marketable fertilizer can replace artificial fertilizers and therefore contributes to a reduced use of fossil fuels.
Chicken farms and slaughter houses are ideally suited businesses for this innovative overall concept, since the energy and waste heat generated can be used on site. Increasing involvement of biogas technology within industrial process significantly increase the efficiency of biogas as energy carrier.
An actual implementation of this project has the potential to increase the European power generation from biogas by 20%. Widely energy self-sufficient facilities can be established by an efficient utilization of the biogas thus fossil fuels are replaced. This local supply of energy will also help to relieve power networks and will provide local jobs.
biogas; fertilizer; membrane contactor ; nitrogen;
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