Enhanced Biogas Yield of Chinese Herbal Medicine Extraction Residue by Hydrothermal Pretreatment

Ming Wang, Yanlin Zhang, Shuiping Yan, Baojun Yi, Wenjuan Niu, Qiaoxia Yuan


Chinese herbal medicine extraction residue (CHER) is a special organic waste produced in China. Because of the high content of lignocelluloses, CHER have a weak bioconversion efficiency for bio-products production. This study investigates the effect of a hydrothermal pretreatment (HTP, 140 to 220 °C, 15 min) on the organic matter solubilisation, biochemical methane potential, and methanation kinetics of CHER during anaerobic digestion (AD). The AD test was conducted with 5 g/L total solid at 35 °C for 30 d. The results showed that the HTP clearly improved the solubilisation of CHER, and the obtained soluble COD (%) reached over 30% (only 4.5% in untreated). Acetic acid, xylose, and glucose were found to be the main products in the hydrolysate. The methane yield and methanation speed of the treated CHER were also enhanced. The highest methane yield of 306 mL/g volatile solid was achieved at a HTP temperature of 180 °C, while the untreated control was only 175 mL/g VS. Moreover, a carbonisation phenomenon was observed at HTP temperatures over 200 °C, which resulted in a loss of organic matter and methane yield.


Chinese herb-extraction residue; Hydrothermal pretreatment; Anaerobic digestion; Methanation kinetics; Biogas

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