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Biomethane Production of Distillery Stillage
Distillery stillage has a high energy potential (13.6 MJ/kg TS, 10.4 MJ/kg COD), which indicates that it can be processed via anaerobic digestion and is a suitable substrate for conversion into energy. Distillery stillage consists of compounds that are easily biodegraded during anaerobic digestion, such as proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. Among the carbohydrates, the concentration of cellulose can be on the level of 32.2%, hemicelluloses—20.9%, and lignin—3.2% in the distillery stillage obtained from maize.
The management of industrial waste is a principal area of development in the world, as industrial waste contains a wide variety of organic and inorganic pollutants that have a negative impact on the environment. The distillery industry is one of the main sources of environmental pollution, but also one of the key factors contributing to the development of the global economy. Only 5% of the world’s ethanol production comes from chemical synthesis. More than 95% of ethanol is produced from agricultural raw materials. Of these, sugar-based raw materials account for approximately 42% of the ethanol produced, and non-sugar raw materials (mainly starch-based) account for approximately 58% . Ethanol is produced from cereals (mainly rye, corn, triticale, and wheat), root crops (mainly potatoes), molasses, and other agricultural raw materials . The production of alcohol is constantly growing because it is used in many industries, including the chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, beverage, food, and perfume industries. In addition, the European Union program obliges Member States to use biofuels as transport fuels (their share should amount to 14% in 2025 and 19.7% in 2030) . Along with the increase in the demand for alcohol, the amount of byproducts (termed distillery stillage), which may be up to 15 times greater than the amount of alcohol produced, is also increasing . Treatment of distillery byproducts is a priority area for environmental protection because untreated byproducts that are released into the environment increase water pollution, adversely affect aquatic life, and reduce soil alkalinity. The literature indicates that the most promising option for utilization of distillery byproducts is to valorize them as a renewable feedstock for recovery of energy and biobased materials, thus enabling integration of remediation and recovery of resources. In this biorefinery approach, appropriate technologies are required, including methanogenesis, photosynthesis, photofermentation, dark fermentation, and bioelectrogenesis, which are made possible by the versatile metabolisms of biocatalytic micro-organisms.
2. Processing of Distillery Stillage—Biomethane Production
2.1. Bioreactors and Operational Parameters
2.2. Effect of Polyphenols and Melanoidin on Biomethane Production
2.3. Pretreatment of Distillery Stillage
2.4. Post-Treatment of Distillery Stillage
This entry is adapted from 10.3390/en14217235
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