Anaerobic digestion of urea pretreated water hyacinth removed from Lake Abaya; bio-methane potential, system stability, and substance conversion

RSC Adv. 2022 Mar 17;12(14):8548-8558. doi: 10.1039/d2ra00303a. eCollection 2022 Mar 15.


Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is characterized as an aquatic plant that can grow very rapidly and freely float over water, and covers the top surface of water. It prevents the penetration of sunlight and reduces nutrients and oxygen from water bodies, and can adversely affect the aquatic ecosystem; however, it can be used in the biogas production as the sole feedstock for anaerobic digestion due to high contents of carbohydrates and biodegradable matter. Thus, this study was aimed to remove water hyacinth from Lake Abaya as a renewable energy resource for biogas production through anaerobic digestion. A lab-scale anaerobic batch reactor was applied to assess its biogas and methane generation potential. The results showed that the total solids of 91.9% at dry basis and volatile solids of 84.82% of TS. The biogas and methane production potential of 474.92 mL g-1 VS and 213.92 mL g-1 VS was recorded during 45 days HRT at 37 ± 1 °C. The daily methane production discloses accelerated increment starting from day 8 up to the peak point on day 12 (2170 mL d-1). The biochemical conversion of substances in water hyacinth to biogas was recorded as follows: total volatile solids (96.1%), cellulose (92.5%), hemicellulose (88.2%), and chemical oxygen demand (99.3%). Based on results, E. crassipes can be the sole feedstock for the anaerobic reactor to produce biomethane, while the effluents can be applied as organic fertilizers.