Autoclave manufacturer AeroThermal Group has claimed that the throughput of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants can be doubled with a combination of steam, pressure in an autoclave.
The research suggests that pre-treating food waste with the technology can boost throughput while reducing ammonia concentrations.
The company, which has been running a number of trials for almost two years, found that 140°C was the optimal temperature to achieve maximum performance with materials being pre-treated in the autoclave.
They claimed that AD plant operators could potentially double revenues with only a marginal increase in operating costs.
Christian Toll, AeroThermal chief executive, said: “In the past there has been a lot of speculation on the efficacy of pre-treating food waste by an autoclave. This long-term series of experiments has shown conclusively that using an autoclave will double the throughput of anaerobic digesters.”
According to the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association, innovative technologies could double or quadruple the AD industry’s potential.