What Role Does Hydrolysis Play in Biogas Production?

Hydrolysis plays an important part in several applications. The water treatment industry frequently uses this process to enhance biogas production in plants used to treat wastewater. Hydrolysis in biogas production ultimately offers numerous advantages that make it a popular option for many facilities.

The Process of Hydrolysis to Biogas Production

Anaerobic digestion plays a key role in the production of biogas. The initial step of anaerobic digestion (AD) is critical in breaking down large organic molecules that are not readily absorbable. During this phase, various microbes secrete different enzymes that simplify the complex forms of these molecules, increasing their absorbability.

To facilitate anaerobic digestion and increase its efficiency, it’s often best to couple this process with thermal hydrolysis. Doing so may offer benefits not seen with conventional digestion and will optimize sludge treatment by producing:

  • No odors
  • A pasteurized digestate to allow for safe reuse
  • 30% to 50% more biogas
  • 25% to 35% less dry solids

The types of organisms that are present in the biogas process during the hydrolysis of polysaccharides include Acetivibrio, Clostridium, and Bacteroides.

The Benefits of Hydrolysis in Biogas Production

Using hydrolysis in biogas production may provide several benefits, including:

  • Lower operating costs due to sludge reduction
  • Savings in biosolids end-use and disposal costs
  • Reduced digester-related investments for new installations
  • The ability to produce income due to:
    • Excess energy generated with more biogas
    • Increased capacity to process organic imports

The specific benefits achieved with hydrolysis will depend on the system and application. The goal is to improve the extent and rate of volatile solids destruction, enhance sludge rheology, and increase biogas production. Using the thermal hydrolysis process (THP) can improve the biodegradation of wastewater residuals, which will subsequently lead to higher biogas production, accelerated digester loading rates, and biosolid production that can be used for land fertilization (where permitted).

Solutions from Nova Analytical Systems

At Nova Analytical Systems, we offer several high-tech products that assist with biogas production. Our line of products includes our Nova 910 Series Continuous Landfill Gas Analyzers along with the 920 Series Continuous Biogas Analyzers. Both systems provide the reliable detectors and sensors needed to accurately and efficiently measure biogas production.

We understand the importance of creating a healthy planet through sustainable solutions and practices, whether it’s a single person planting a tree or a large company building renewable energy facilities. With more than 30 years of experience supplying our customers with accurate & durable gas analysis systems, Nova continues to develop technology that promotes sustainable energy while meeting our customers’ individual needs.

For additional information about our gas analyzer systems and other products, request a quote or reach out to a member of our team today.

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