Effect of hydrochar on anaerobic digestion of dead pig carcass after hydrothermal pretreatment

Jie Xu, Ahmed M. Mustafa, Hongjian Lin, Ung Yong Choe, Kuichuan Sheng

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16 Scopus citations


Incineration and burial are the current practices for pig carcasses disposal but are not environmentally friendly. Anaerobic digestion can be a better alternative if the process inhibition by carcass digestion can be ameliorated. This study successfully mitigated the inhibition in anaerobic digestion of carcasses by hydrochar addition and by co-digestion with RS and HRS. Biogas production from SP of the pretreated hydrothermal carcasses was enhanced by 60.7 to 90.8% through hydrochar addition. The highest biogas production of 450 mL/g-VS was obtained at 4 g-hydrochar/L addition. The methane content was also increased from 57.5% to up to 69.8%. Each gram of hydrochar removed 25 mg of ammonium and 50 mg of VFA. Hydrochar addition promoted the conversion of VFA to biogas by strengthening the intensity of functional groups and the immobilization of microbial biomass. Co-digestion of SP with RS or HRS also increased the biogas production, and the optimal production of 428 mL/g VS was obtained at 70% SP and 30% RS. The co-digestion of carcass SP with RS and the addition of hydrochar can be a promising solution for improving biogas production from a pig carcass, and can be potentially developed as a sustainable waste management method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-856
Number of pages8
JournalWaste Management
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge a research grant support by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFD0800804 ) and the National Science & Technology Pillar Program of China (No. 2012BAC17B02 ).


  • Ammonium adsorption
  • Biogas inhibition
  • Co-digestion
  • Hydrochar
  • Immobilization of microbial biomass

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