Waste, Vol. 1, Pages 497-514: Twin-Screw Extrusion Mechanical Pretreatment for Enhancing Biomethane Production from Agro-Industrial, Agricultural and Catch Crop Biomasses

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Waste, Vol. 1, Pages 497-514: Twin-Screw Extrusion Mechanical Pretreatment for Enhancing Biomethane Production from Agro-Industrial, Agricultural and Catch Crop Biomasses

Waste doi: 10.3390/waste1020030

Authors:
Arthur Chevalier
Philippe Evon
Florian Monlau
Virginie Vandenbossche
Cecilia Sambusiti

This study aimed to evaluate the effects of mechanical treatment through twin-screw extrusion for the enhancement of biomethane production. Four lignocellulosic biomasses (i.e., sweetcorn by-products, whole triticale, corn stover and wheat straw) were evaluated, and two different shear stress screw profiles were tested. Chemical composition, particle size reduction, tapped density and cellulose crystallinity were assessed to show the effect of extrusion pretreatment on substrate physico-chemical properties and their biochemical methane production (BMP) capacities. Both mechanical pretreatments allowed an increase in the proportion of particles with a diameter size less than 1 mm (from 3.7% to 72.7%). The most restrictive profile also allowed a significant solubilization of water soluble coumpounds, from 5.5% to 13%. This high-shear extrusion also revealed a reduction in cellulose crystallinity for corn stover (i.e., 8.6% reduction). Sweetcorn by-products revealed the highest BMP values (338–345 NmL/gVS), followed by corn stover (264–286 NmL/gVS), wheat straw (247–270 NmL/gVS) and whole triticale (233–247 NmL/gVS). However, no statistical improvement in maximal BMP production was provided by twin-screw extrusion. Nevertheless, BMP kinetic analysis proved that both extrusion pretreatments were able to increase the specific rate constant (from 13% to 56% for soft extrusion and from 66% to 107% for the high-shear one).

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