Biomethanisation of Jatropha Curcas L Seedcake
Various forms of biomass such as vegetation, animal dung and plant products are providing safe and convenient sources of energy as in the form of biogas and liquid fuel. Biomass such as cattle dung, agro-residues, plant residues, organic wastes from industrial processing (in spite of being biodegradable), create environmental problems. These easily available alternative resources can be harnessed by anaerobic fermentation of this waste matter producing biogas as efficient gaseous fuel. During past 20 years several modifications in biogas plants have been done to overcome the technological and operational hurdles. (Maheshwari et al.,2006).
Jatropha Seedcake as biodigester feedstock
In January of 2010, the positive results of a study using Jatropha Curcas Seedcake waste as an alternative feedstock for biogas plants was published by the Department of Renewable Energy Sources, College of Technology and Engineering, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, India.
|Profitable Methanisation Applications
The biomethanisation of Jatropha seedcake by-product provides an excellent feedstock to generate electricity and a high-quality fertilizer. The additional revenue streams generated by these products enhance the GEF Global financial model and provide for an accelerated ROI while at the same time eliminating waste from the biodiesel oil production.
Biodigester Revenue Opportunities
The GEF Global business plan uses a “Lagoon Style” anaerobic biodigester to process 100% of the project’s seedcake production. The entire system requires a footprint of approximately one hectare (2.47 acres). At full maturity the Jatropha plantation produces approximately 50 Kilograms of seedcake per day per hectare. This seedcake, mixed with water, is fed daily to the biodigester. Through fermentation the developed microbial culture produces biogas consisting of approximately 60% methane and 40% carbon dioxide (Co2). The methane is captured and used as fuel for electric generation.
Fertilizer from Effluent Slurry
Another by-product of this biodigester process is the remaining material called Effluent Slurry, an extremely valuable as an organic fertilizer. During the biomethanisation process of the Jatropha seedcake fed biodigester the nutrient value of the seedcake actually improves, thus yielding a more desirable fertilizer product than the original seedcake material.
The table shown below represents the results of the study on biomethanisation of Jatropha seedcake. The results demonstrate how the slurry coming out of the biodigester is higher in nutrients than before entering the biodigester. Specifically, the fermentation process raises the percentage of (N) Nitrogen, (P) Phosphorus and (K) Potassium; therefore making it ideal as a high-quality organic fertilizer.