High-rate anaerobic treatment of digestate using fixed film reactors

Nilufer Ulgudur, Goksel Demirer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The effluent stream of the anaerobic digestion processes, the digestate, accommodates high residual organic content that needs to be further treated before discharge. Anaerobic treatment of digestate would not only reduce the residual organic compounds in digestate but also has a potential to capture the associated biogas. High-rate anaerobic reactor configurations can treat the waste streams using lower hydraulic retention times which requires less footprint opposed to the conventional completely stirred tank reactors. This study investigated the high-rate anaerobic treatment performance and the associated biogas capture from the digestate of a manure mixture composed of 90% laying hen and 10% cattle manures in fixed-film reactors. The results indicated that it was possible to reduce total chemical oxygen demand content of the digestate by 57–62% in 1.3–1.4 days of hydraulic retention time. The corresponding biogas yields obtained were in the range of 0.395–0.430 Lbiogas/g VSadded which were found to be comparable to many raw feedstocks. Moreover, significant total phosphorus reduction (36–47%) and greenhouse gas capture (over 14.5–18.1 tCO2e/d per m3 digestate) were also recorded in the anaerobic fixed-film reactors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1622-1632
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - 2019


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