Hydrolysis is considered the main limiting step of anaerobic digestion. Different attempts have been done in order to increase hydrolysis, including several biological, physical and chemical pre-treatments. Control laboratory experiments and sampling in Biogas reactors are important ways of testing hypothesis and describing certain processes and possible regulatory factors. However, many times, the results obtained with this approach may be very limited to the experimental conditions or type of reactor. We use a meta-analysis approach in order to combine the results from multiple studies, allowing the emergence of new patterns and conclusions related with the effect of biological, chemical and physical pre-treatments on methane production.
Drying effect on digestate
Drying has a positive effect on methane production, a pattern that has been confirmed in several natural systems. Drying affects microbial community and processes dynamics, but the mechanisms explaining increase in microbial activity are still unclear. We are evaluating different drying conditions to elucidate the mechanisms that could explain a potential increase in methane production and biofertilizer quality from the digestate from Biogas reactors.
Experiments evaluation the element recovery from biogas digestate. Photo credit: Alex Enrich Prast
C and N cycling in Amazonian floodplains
The Amazon rainforest, the largest tropical forest in the world, has a well-defined annual water level variation that periodically flood soils of an area of ca. 800.000km2. This flood pulse have different effect on the elemental cycling from different types of water (clear, white and black). Our research focus on the understanding the factors that control the production, consumption and emission of CH4 and N2O in terrestrial and aquatic Amazonian environments. Carbon cycling in Flooded forest. Photo credit: Alex Enrich Prast