Process Evaluation for Petroleum Wastewater Co-digestion with Rye Grass to Enhance Methane Production

  • Anwar AhmadEmail author
Original Paper


In this study a green waste rye grass was added as the co-substrate for petroleum wastewater (PWW) fermentation with different mixing ratios for enhancing methane production. First order modified process model was employed to methane production from co-digestion of PWW with different ratio of rye grass. The results showed that the highest methane yield was 204.8 mL/g-VSadded/h− 1 and total solids 41.6% and volatile solids (VS) 29.6% removal ratio reached at the ratio of 30–70 PWW-rye grass. Which were 98.7, 61.9 and 34.5 times higher than that from sole PWW fermentation, respectively. The first order modified process model best fitted the actual evolution of methane yields, as evidenced by low root mean square prediction error as well as high correlation difference between the predicted and actual values. The utilization of carbohydrate and protein were also improved by co-digestion of PWW with rye grass. After methane fermentation, acetate was the dominant soluble metabolites in all groups. The SMA activity results showed that more active microorganisms in the co-digestion system contributed to higher methane production and waste utilization.


Process analysis Co-digestion Rye grass biomass Petroleum wastewater Methane yield 



Petroleum wastewater


Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor


Volatile solids


Chemical oxygen demand (g/l)




Biochemical oxygen demand (mg/l)


Dilution rate, 1/HRT (day_1)


Petroleum waste water




Ammonia nitrogen (mg/l)


Oil and grease (mg/l)


Organic loading rate (kg/m3/day)


Substrate concentration in the reactor (mg/l)


Influent substrate concentration (mg/l)


Effluent substrate concentration (mg/l)


Soluble chemical oxygen demand (mg/l)


Solid retention time (days)


Suspended solid (mg/l)


Time (days)


Mixed liqor suspended sludge (mg/l)


Sludge volume index (ml/l)


Total nitrogen (mg/l)


Total solid (mg/l)


Total volatile solid (mg/l)


Up-flow anaerobic sludge fixed film


Volume reactor (l)


Volatile fatty acid (mg/l)


Total carbon


Volatile suspended solid (mg/l)


Sludge settling velocity (m/h)


Specific methanogenic activity


Measured methane yield (l/gCODadded) Fd (ml gCOD l POMEadded)

Diff. %

Difference between


Methane potential


Methane production rate (ml/gCOD/h)


Hydrolysis rate (g COD/day)


Shape factor


Lag phase time (h)


Standard error of estimate


Root mean square prediction error



The authors thank the deanship of scientific research (DSR) at University of Nizwa (UNIZWA) for its funding of this research through the cluster research group.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, College of Engineering and ArchitectureUniversity of NizwaNizwaSultanate of Oman

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