Enhancement of Methane Production in Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste using Thermal Pretreatment 10.32526/ennrj/20/202100063

Main Article Content

T.U. Habarakada Liyanage
Sandhya Babel


Anaerobic digestion (AD) is an energy production process and food waste is a potential feedstock. The main biochemical reactions are Hydrolysis, Acidogenesis, Acetogenesis, and Methanogenesis. The hydrolysis step acts as the rate-limiting reaction and the pretreatment of the feedstocks can be used to support this step. In this research, thermal pretreatment was used as a potential method for food waste pretreatment. Six different pretreatment conditions were used: two different temperatures (80oC and 100oC) and three different pretreatment times (30, 60, and 90 min). The Bio-Methane Potential (BMP) test was conducted using 120 mL serum bottles for 20 days to determine the most suitable pretreatment conditions. An experiment was also conducted at the selected optimal conditions (80oC for 90 min) using a small-scale bioreactor against the control with a NaHCO3 buffer solution. The highest Soluble Chemical Oxygen Demand (SCOD) was observed at 100oC for 90 min. The optimal pretreatment was selected as 80oC for 90 min, which produced 14.75 mL/g VS of methane while the control produced 8.64 mL/g VS in BMP test. After a few days, the methane production started to slow down due to a decrease in pH. When a buffer was added, a specific methane yield of 120.13 mL/g VS was observed in the small-scale bioreactor. This was an 11.24% increase compared to the buffered control without thermal pretreatment. In conclusion, thermal pretreatment has a potential to enhance the AD but it is economical to use with less biodegradable waste than food waste.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Liyanage, T. H., & Babel, S. (2021). Enhancement of Methane Production in Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste using Thermal Pretreatment: 10.32526/ennrj/20/202100063. nvironment and atural esources ournal, 20(1), 10-18. etrieved from https://ph02.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/ennrj/article/view/245149
Original Research Articles


American Public Health Association (APHA), American Water Works Association (AWWA), and Water Environment Federation (WEF). Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. Washington, DC, USA: American Public Health Association; 2017.

Ariunbaatar J, Panico A, Frunzo L, Esposito G, Lens PNL, Pirozzi F. Enhanced anaerobic digestion of food waste by thermal and ozonation pretreatment methods. Journal of Environmental Management 2014;146:142-9.

Carrere H, Antonopoulou G, Affes R, Passos F, Battimelli A, Lyberatos G, et al. Review of feedstock pretreatment strategies for improved anaerobic digestion: From lab-scale research to full-scale application. Bioresource Technology 2016;199: 386-97.

Cho JK, Park SC, Chang HN. Biochemical methane potential and solid state anaerobic digestion of Korean food wastes. Bioresource Technology 1995;52:245-53.

Divya D, Gopinath LR, Merlin CP. A review on current aspects and diverse prospects for enhancing biogas production in sustainable means. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 2015;42:690-9.

Elbeshbishy E, Nakhla G. Comparative study of the effect of ultrasonication on the anaerobic biodegradability of food waste in single and two-stage systems. Bioresource Technology 2011;102:6449-57.

El Gnaoui Y, Karouach F, Bakraoui M, Barz M, El Bari H. Mesophilic anaerobic digestion of food waste: Effect of thermal pretreatment on improvement of anaerobic digestion process. Energy Reports 2020;6:417-22.

Eskicioglu C, Terzian N, Kennedy KJ, Droste RL, Hamoda M. Athermal microwave effects for enhancing digestibility of waste activated sludge. Water Research 2007;41:2457-66.

Fadzil F, Fadzil F, Sulaiman SM, Shaharoshaha AM, Seswoya R. Methane production from the digestion of thermally treated food waste at 80°C. Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques 2020;8:1017-22.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Food wastage: Key facts and figures [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2021 July 30]. Available from: http://www.fao.org/news/story /en/item/196402/icode/.

Habarakada LTU, Babel S. Thermal, ultrasonic and electrochemical pretreatment methods to enhance the solubilization of organic substance and methane generation in food waste. Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management 2020;22:1418-26.

Hoornweg D, Bhada-Tata P. What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management. Washington, DC, USA: World Bank; 2012.

Kaza S, Yao LC, Bhada-Tata P, Van Woerden F. What a Waste 2.0: A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050. Vol. 139. Washington, DC, USA: World Bank; 2018.

Kim J, Park C, Kim TH, Lee M, Kim S, Kim SW, et al. Effects of various pretreatments for enhanced anaerobic digestion with waste activated sludge. Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering 2003;95:271-5.

Krishna D, Kalamdhad AS. Pre-treatment and anaerobic digestion of food waste for high rate methane production: A review. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering 2014;2: 1821-30.

Kumar BB, Huang H, Dai J, Chen GH, Wu D. Impact of low-thermal pretreatment on physicochemical properties of saline waste activated sludge, hydrolysis of organics and methane yield in anaerobic digestion. Bioresource Technology 2020;297:ID 122423.

Leung DYC, Wang J. An overview on biogas generation from anaerobic digestion of food waste. International Journal of Green Energy 2016;13:119-31.

Menon A, Ren F, Wang JY, Giannis A. Effect of pretreatment techniques on food waste solubilization and biogas production during thermophilic batch anaerobic digestion. Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management 2016;18:222-30.

Merlin CP, Gopinath LR, Divya D. A review on anaerobic decomposition and enhancement of biogas production through enzymes and microorganisms. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 2014;34:167-73.

Naran E, Toor UA, Kim DJ. Effect of pretreatment and anaerobic co-digestion of food waste and waste activated sludge on stabilization and methane production. International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation 2016;113:17-21.

Ortega-Martínez E, Chamy R, Jeison D. Thermal pre-treatment: Getting some insights on the formation of recalcitrant compounds and their effects on anaerobic digestion. Journal of Environmental Management 2021;282:ID 111940.

Ta AT, Babel S. Utilization of green waste from vegetable market for biomethane production: Influences of feedstock to inoculum ratios and alkalinity. Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management 2019;21:1391-401.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Soil Survey Laboratory Information Manual: Soil Survey Investigations Report No. 45. Nebraska, USA: Lulu.com; 2015.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Method 1684: Total, Fixed, and Volatile Solids in Water, Solids, and Biosolids. Washington, DC, USA: United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Office of Science and Technology, Engineering and Analysis Division; 2001.

Ward AJ, Hobbs PJ, Holliman PJ, Jones DL. Optimisation of the anaerobic digestion of agricultural resources. Bioresource Technology 2008;99:7928-40.

Zhang C, Su H, Baeyens J, Tan T. Reviewing the anaerobic digestion of food waste for biogas production. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 2014;38:383-92.

Zhang J, Lv C, Tong J, Liu J, Liu J, Yu D, et al. Optimization and microbial community analysis of anaerobic co-digestion of food waste and sewage sludge based on microwave pretreatment. Bioresource Technology 2015; 200:253-61.

Zhang W, Cao H, Liang Y. Optimization of Thermal Pretreatment of Food Waste for Maximal Solubilization. Journal of Environmental Engineering 2021;147(4):ID 04021010.