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This project was concerned with the anaerobic digestion of liquid and solid agricultural residues. The digester design chosen was the anaerobic filter which differs from the conventional design in having an inert holding matrix which retains the active biological flora. Flow is upward through the matrix and separation of the gaseous products from the liquid effluent occurs at the top of the filter column. Laboratory scale filters were constructed and filled with a limestone matrix. The effect of varying the filter matrix on the digestion efficiency was investigated at laboratory scale. A matrix of limestone chippings appeared to be slightly superior to either granite or phurnacite chips. When polystyrene particles were used as the matrix medium, very low COD removal rates were observed and the inhibition appeared to be specifically towards the acetogenic/methanogenic phase of digestion. In all laboratory filters examined, the bulk of the digestion process appeared top be completed within the lower 10 cm of the digester, indicating that the remaining 90cm may be largely superfluous.

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Bibliographic Reference: EUR 7563 EN (1983) MF, 56P., BF120, BLOW-UP COPY BF 280 - EUROFFICE, LUXEMBOURG, POB 1907
Availability: Can be ordered online
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