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Aim: To study the effects of different sizes of groundnut shell on biogas and methane yields using batch reactor at mesophilic temperature.
Place and Duration of Study: The laboratory experiment was carried out at the Laboratory of the Department of Agricultural Engineering, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria, between August and October, 2018.
Methodology: Batch experiment was set up for a period of 35 days with substrate reduced to 2, 4 and 6 mm sizes. The digesters were subjected to anaerobic digestion at mesophilic condition and the gas produced were collected with graduated gas sampling bottles dipped in measuring cylinders already filled with red liquid. The total gas produced was analyzed using gas analyzer to give the percentage composition of the gas components and Enwuff equation was used to calculate the biogas and methane yields of organic dry matter and fresh mass of the samples.
Results: The total gas volume of 482.5, 605.0 and 732.5 ml were recorded for the sizes 2, 4 and 6 mm respectively. The organic dry matter biogas yields were 357.1, 514.31 and 324.5 lNkg-1oDM for treatment 2, 4 and 6 mm respectively; while organic dry matter methane produced were 222.41, 298.41 and 211.31 CH4kg-1oDM for 2, 4 and 6 mm, respectively. The fresh mass biogas yields were 147.6, 180.7 and 177.3 lNkg-1FM and fresh mass methane yield were 919, 104.8 and 115.4 lNCH4 kg-1FM for 2, 4 and 6 mm, respectively.
Conclusion: Considering the yields recorded, the experiment shows that size reduction had effect on biogas yields and it is an important factor to be considered in biogas production. Treatment with particle size 4 mm seems to be the ideal size when considered the yields in terms of organic dry matter and fresh mass basis.
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