Use of organic wastes of Agave processing for bioenergy production

In the Mezcal and Tequila industries, vinasses are one of the main agricultural residues of fermentation and distillation of Agave to alcohol.Great volumes of vinasses with high pollutant charge remain in Mexico every year. From each liter Tequila produced, around 10 and 12 liters vinasses are being generated, and from the Mezcal production around 8 and 15 liters.

The hypothesis proposed at the beginning of this work, was that the organic wastes of Agave processing (vinasses) could be used for bioenergy production, instead of disposed in soils and water. Organic matter content can be thereby diminished. Bioenergy technologies to be tested are AD and MFC. Besides, it was proposed as secondary hypotheses, that AD efficiency could be enhanced when using a more suitable inoculum source, when using biofilms in the bioreactor, or when adjusting the substrate to inoculum ratio (S:I-ratio) for batch fermentation. It was also proposed that AD effluent, using vinasses as substrate, could be successfully used as influent in a MFC, generating simultaneously biogas and voltage.

Aim of this work was to evaluate the proposed hypotheses at labor scales. If the hypotheses are confirmed, results can be transferred to middle and large scale bioreactors. It was intended to improve the scientific knowledge regarding AD and MFC and to achieve a better understanding of the biological processes occurring in a bioreactor operated with vinasses. Literature research helped to know the most recent results of vinasses in MFC, vinasses AD, ag was carried out, to describe and compare the bacterial growth dynamics. CFD simulation was applied to evaluate the design of the small biorefinery with an AD-MFC configuration.

Weitere beteiligte Wissenschaftler*innen Mónica López Velarde Santos
Projektpartner Prof. Dr. sc. agr. Oliver Hensel, Uni Kassel, Ökologische Agrarwissenschaften
Fördermittelgeber DAAD
Laufzeit 10/2013 bis 10/2018