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The construction and operation of a low-cost poultry waste digester
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A simple digester was constructed to treat the waste from 4000 caged laying hens. The system consisted of a plastic lining with insulation, a heating system, a hot water tank, and other metering equipment. It was operated at 50? and pH 7.5-8.0. The initiation of methane production was achieved using the indigenous microflora in the poultry waste. At an optimal loading rate (7.5 kg volatile solids/m3 day), the digester produced biogas (55% methane) at a rate of 4.0 m3/m3 day. The digester was biologically stable and able to tolerate temporary overloads and shutdowns. A higher loading rate failed to maintain a high gas production rate and caused drops in methane content and pH value. Under optimal conditions, a positive energy balance was demonstrated with a net surplus of 50.6% of the gross energy. For methane production the system was technically feasible. The simple design and inexpensive materials used for this model could significantly reduce the cost of digestion compared to more conventional systems.
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 Record created 2017-10-01, last modified 2019-03-04

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