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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 731731, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/731731
Research Article

Evaluation of Dried Sweet Sorghum Stalks as Raw Material for Methane Production

Biochemical Process Engineering, Division of Chemical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, 971-87 Luleå, Sweden

Received 14 June 2014; Revised 17 July 2014; Accepted 23 July 2014; Published 19 August 2014

Academic Editor: Ilona Sárvári Horváth

Copyright © 2014 Leonidas Matsakas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The potential of utilizing dried sweet sorghum stalks as raw material for anaerobic digestion has been evaluated. Two different treatments were tested, a mild thermal and an enzymatic, alone or in combination. Thermal pretreatment was found to decrease the methane yields, whereas one-step enzymatic treatment resulted in a significant increase of 15.1% comparing to the untreated sweet sorghum. Subsequently, in order to increase the total methane production, the combined effect of enzyme load and I/S on methane yields from sweet sorghum was evaluated by employing response surface methodology. The obtained model showed that the maximum methane yield that could be achieved is 296 mL CH4/g VS at I/S ratio of 0.35 with the addition of 11.12 FPU/g sweet sorghum.