Poultry manure is an ammonia-rich substrate due to its high content of proteins and amino acids. Ammonia is the major inhibitor of anaerobic digestion (AD) process, affecting biogas production and causing great economic losses to the biogas plants. In this study, the effect of different natural zeolite dosages on the mesophilic AD of poultry manure inoculated with a non-acclimatised to ammonia inoculum (dairy manure) was investigated. Additionally, a comparative analysis was performed between the data extracted from this study and the results of a previous study which has been conducted under the same experimental conditions but with the use of ammonia acclimatised inoculum (swine manure). At 5 and 10 g zeolite L−1, the methane yield of poultry manure was 43.4% and 80.3% higher compared with the experimental set without zeolite addition. However, the ammonia non-acclimatised inoculum was not efficient in digesting poultry manure even in the presence of 10 g zeolite L−1, due to low methane production (only 39%) compared to the maximum theoretical yield. Finally, ammonia acclimatised inoculum and zeolite have demonstrated a possible “synergistic effect” which led to a more efficient AD of poultry manure. The results of this study could potentially been used by the biogas plant operators to efficiently digest poultry manure.
Environmental Technology, 2014, Vol 35, Issue 10, p. 1215-1225