Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 336–344 | Cite as

Anaerobic co-digestion of hydrolysate from alkali pre-treated oil palm empty fruit bunches with biodiesel waste glycerol

  • Orathai Chavalparit
  • Setta Sasananan
  • Pratin Kullavanijaya
  • Chalermchon Charoenwuttichai


With an attempt to utilize bio-waste, oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB) were investigated as feedstock for biogas production. Bench scale experiments were carried out employing a two-stage process for the digestion of pre-treated OPEFB with and without the addition of biodiesel waste glycerol (WG). Two continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTR) were operated for acid and methane production. Alkali pre-treated OPEFB were initially acidified to produce an acid hydrolysate solution. Different proportions of WG, between 0.4 and 0.8% (by volume of feed), were increased stepwise. The results indicated that the acidification of these pre-treated brunches generated approximately 4.25 g/L of volatile fatty acid at an optimum pre-treatment condition with soaking in 2% of NaOH for 48 h. This was an increase of 47% compared to the acidification of raw OPEFB. The maximum methane production was achieved with the addition of 0.4% WG, which yielded a gas production of 0.542 and 0.369 L g CODrem biogas and methane, respectively. These conditions can improve the gas yield of biogas and methane by a factor of 1.67 and 2.84, respectively. However, a higher supplementation of WG seemed to promote more instability, which was reflected by a lower methane concentration and organic removal efficiency.


Alkali pre-treatment Biodiesel waste glycerin Co-digestion OPEFB Anaerobic digestion 



This research has been supported by the Ratchadapisek Sompoch Endowment Fund (2016), Chulalongkorn University (CU-59-002-IC).


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Orathai Chavalparit
    • 1
    • 2
  • Setta Sasananan
    • 3
  • Pratin Kullavanijaya
    • 1
  • Chalermchon Charoenwuttichai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Research Unit of Environmental Management and Sustainable Industry (EMSI), Faculty of EngineeringChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  3. 3.Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringSrinakharinwirot UniversityOngkharakThailand

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