Effects of solid-liquid separation on recovering residual methane and nitrogen from digested dairy cow manure

P. L N Kaparaju, J. A. Rintala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


The feasibility of optimizing methane and nitrogen recovery of samples obtained from farm biogas digester (35 °C) and post-storage tank (where digested material is stored for 9-12 months) was studied by separating the materials into different fractions using 2, 1, 0.5 and 0.25 mm sieves. Mass-balances revealed that digested material mainly consists of <0.25 mm (60-69%) and >2 mm (18-27%) fractions, while fractions between 2 and 0.25 mm made the rest. Incubation of solid fractions >0.25 mm of digester material at 35 °C resulted in specific methane yields of 0.060-0.085 m3 kg-1 volatile solids (VS) during initial 30-50 d and 0.16-0.18 m3 kg-1 VS at the end of 340 d incubation. Similarly, fractions >0.25 mm of post-storage tank material produced 0.055-0.092 m3 kg-1 VS and 0.13-0.16 m3 kg-1 VS of methane after 30-50 d and after 250 d, respectively. Methane yields for fractions <0.25 mm of post-storage tank was 0.03 m3 kg-1 VS after 30-50 d and 0.05 m3 kg-1 VS after 250 d compared to 0.20 m3 kg-1 VS and 0.41 m3 kg-1 VS, respectively for the same fraction of digester material. Separation of digested cow manure into solids and liquid fractions to recover methane may be feasible only for post-storage tank material and not for digester material. Nitrogen management would not be feasible with neither material as total nitrogen and ammonium-nitrogen concentrations were equally distributed among the segregated fractions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Digested material
  • Farm-scale digester
  • Fractionation
  • Methane
  • Post-storage tank

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Food Science
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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