Effects of Experimental Parameters on Methane Production and Volatile Solids Removal from Tomato and Pepper Plant Wastes

Sarai Camarena-Martínez, Juan H. Martinez-Martinez, Adriana Saldaña-Robles, Hector G. Nuñez-Palenius, Rogelio Costilla-Salazar, Idania Valdez-Vazquez, Nanh Lovanh, Graciela M. L. Ruiz-Aguilar


In Mexico, protected agriculture generates large amounts of tomato and pepper plants residues (TPW and PPW, respectively). Given the limited information on methane production from anaerobic digestion of these wastes, this study aimed to determine the effects of the substrate/inoculum (S/I) ratio, temperature, and total solids content on methane production and volatile solids (VS) removal by two subsequent batch experiments (Experiments A and B). Experiment A was performed to evaluate the substrate/inoculum ratios of 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 at room temperature (22 ± 4.5 °C). Based on the best methane yield from experiment A, a new experiment was established (Experiment B) using only tomato wastes, where temperature was kept at 29 °C and 39 °C. The total solids content was analyzed depending on the S/I ratio used. For both substrates, an S/I ratio of 0.5 was the most appropriate for methane production. The temperature had a positive effect on volatile solids removal and methane yield. In contrast, the total solids content (% TS) only had a positive effect on methane production. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study evaluating the effect of the S/I ratio on methane production from tomato and pepper plant wastes.


Anaerobic digestion; Agriculture waste; Biogas

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