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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 171635, 6 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Mediterranean Agricultural Residues as a Potential Feedstock for the Production of Biogas via Anaerobic Fermentation

1Laboratory of General and Inorganic Chemical Technology, Department of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
2Biochemical Process Engineering, Division of Chemical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, 971-87 Luleå, Sweden
3Chemical Process and Energy Resources Institute, Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas (CPERI/CERTH), 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece

Received 26 June 2015; Revised 20 September 2015; Accepted 18 October 2015

Academic Editor: Maria A. M. Reis

Copyright © 2015 Christos Nitsos 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.


Hydrothermal, dilute acid, and steam explosion pretreatment methods, were evaluated for their efficiency to improve the methane production yield of three Mediterranean agricultural lignocellulosic residues such as olive tree pruning, grapevine pruning, and almond shells. Hydrothermal and dilute acid pretreatments provided low to moderate increase in the digestibility of the biomass samples, whereas steam explosion enabled the highest methane yields to be achieved for almond shells at 232.2 ± 13.0 mL CH4/gVS and olive pruning at 315.4 ± 0.0 mL CH4/gVS. Introduction of an enzymatic prehydrolysis step moderately improved methane yields for hydrothermal and dilute acid pretreated samples but not for the steam exploded ones.