Lab-scale biogas reactors at Tema Environmental Change Photo credit Eva-Maria EkstrandImproved dewaterability of digestate from anaerobic digestion by the addition of pulp and paper mill primary sludge
Anaerobic digestion (AD) of biological waste for biogas production is an important process in today’s society, both in terms of waste reduction as well as the generation of a carbon neutral fuel. Reuse of the nutrient-rich residue (digestate) is essential and can have a significant effect on the economy of the process. The digestate often contains > 90 % water, and therefore dewatering can be an important step to lower the cost for transport to potential customers. This project aims to investigate if the addition of pulp and paper mill primary sludge to the AD process can improve the dewaterability of the sludge, and thereby increase its use and value on the market.
In short, the student will carry out a laboratory study using lab-scale biogas reactors primarily digesting food waste. Primary sludge (rich in fibres) from different types of pulp mills will then be added to the reactors, and the biogas production and dewaterability of the sludge will be assessed.
The thesis project is supervised by researchers from LiU, and the project is part of a research area in the Biogas Research Center (BRC), a national competence center financed by the Swedish Energy Agency, LiU, the Swedish Agricultural University (SLU) and several industrial partners. The student will be invited to take part in and present their results in one of the center’s larger meetings, where several companies will be present. Desired starting date is September 2020, but this can be discussed.
We are looking for a student with an education in technical biology, chemical biology, chemical engineering or similar, and with laboratory experience. This project is industrially relevant with a potential real impact on the use of digestate after anaerobic digestion.
LiU/BRC: Eva-Maria Ekstrand, firstname.lastname@example.org