Effect of Harvesting Age and Size Reduction in the Performance of Anaerobic Digestion of Pennisetum Grass

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Pizarro Loaiza, Carlos Alexander
Torres Lozada, Patricia
Illa i Alibés, JosepIlla i Alibés, Josep - ORCID ID
Palatsi Civit, Jordi
Bonmatí Blasi, August
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cc-by (c) Pizarro et al., 2020
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In the rural zones of Latin American and Caribbean developing countries, the poorest households rely on traditional fuels such as firewood to meet their daily cooking needs. Many of those countries are located near the equator, where they have a tropical climate and grass is one of the most common biomass crops. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of harvesting age (30, 44, and 57 days) in the performance of anaerobic digestion of King Grass (Pennisetum purpureum cv. King Grass) grown under tropical climate conditions. Three reduction methods of crop size were also compared. Results showed that 44-day harvesting age presented the greater specific methane yield (347.8 mLCH4 g −1VS) and area-specific methane yield (9773 m3CH4 ha−1 y −1 ). The machine chopped method (1–3 cm for stems and 1–10 cm for leaves) was the reduction method that maximized the methane production. From those results, the calculated area required for grass cultivation to provide the cooking energy to a typical family in the Colombian rural zones is 154 m2 .
Journal or Serie
Processes, 2020, vol. 8, núm. 11, a1414