Assessing the Effect of Temperature on Performance of the High Altitude Anaerobic Digesters

  • Pushpa SinghEmail author
  • Subodh Sharma
  • Bivek Baral
  • N. R. Khatiwada
  • Surya Man Shakya
Conference paper


Biomass is the main source of energy in Nepal as the majority of the population uses biomass as the energy source. Firewood serves as a primary source of fuel for cooking and heating that has led to depletion of forest resources. Renewable energy technologies account for 0.53% of total energy consumption in Nepal. Due to the high performance in volume reduction and stabilization, an anaerobic digestion is a solution for the treatment of agricultural waste, industrial waste, which leads to efficient energy production. Of many factors affecting anaerobic digester process, temperature is one of the major factors. Organic waste can be easily digested to produce methane gas and this process also generates good manure as a by-product. The main aim of the paper is to assess the effect of temperature on the performance of the high altitude anaerobic digesters. A continuous lab-scale anaerobic digester was fabricated. The different substrates, i.e., cow dung, horse dung, sheep dung, human faces, and greenhouse residue were used as feed. The tests were performed at different temperatures, i.e., 10, 17, 30, and 40 °C. Biogas production was studied every day for 45 days by the water displacement method. The Biochemical Methane Potentials (BMPs) for the substrate was conducted in the sample bottle of 125 ml and gas produced was measured by syringe. The cow dung was found to have highest biogas production potential under mesophilic condition than that of psychrophilic. Among all types of feed mix used, mix with cow dung, horse dung, sheep dung, and human feces were found to be efficient. The amount of gas produced from this mix at psychrophilic temperature was 4120 ml from 2.2 kg substrate used in 22 days. Initially, 8.5 ml of inoculum was used. For the production of sufficient amount of biogas, heating is required at higher altitude due to the cold climatic condition.


Anaerobic digester Methane fermentation Organic matter Methanogens Anaerobes 



We would like to extend our heartfelt wishes and gratitude to the team of this research work, Ms. Gyanu Giri and Ms. Luniva Bajracharya. We are particularly grateful to Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Kathmandu University, Nepal, Alex Zahnd, Christoph Hugi and Thomas Gross. We acknowledge financial support received through the Seed Money Programme by ETH Global Switzerland. We are indeed to the households of Jumla for providing the substrates for the research work.


  1. 1.
    Alvarez R, Vilica S, Liden G (2006) Biogas production form Ilama and cow manure at high altitude. Biomass Bioenerg 30:66–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Alvarez R, Liden G (2008) The effect of temperature variation on biomethanation at high altitude. Bioresour Technol 99(15):7278–7284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    BSP-Nepal (2005) BIOGAS as renewable source of energy in Nepal, theory and development. KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chen M (1983) Adaptation of mesophilic anaerobic sewage fermentor population to thermophilic temperatures. Appl Environ Microbiol 45(4):1271–1276Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    El-Mashad HM, Zeeman G, van Loon WKP, Gerard PAB, Lettings G (2004) Effect of temperature and temperature fluctuation on thermophilic anaerobic digestion of cattle manure. Biores Technol 95(2):191–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hashimoto AG (1982) Methane from cattle waste: effect of temperature, hydraulic retention time, and influent substrate concentration on kinetic parameter (K). Biotechnol Bioeng 24:2039–2052CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kashyap DR, Dadhich KS, Sharma SK (2003) Biomethanantion under psychrophilic conditions; a review. Biores Technol 87:147–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Nozhevnikova AN, Kosyurbenco OR, Parshina SN (1999) Anaerobic manure treatment under extreme temperature conditions. Water Sci Technol 40(1):215–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Singh KJ, Sooch SS (2004) Comparative study of economics of different models of family size biogas plants for state of Punjab, India. Energy Convers Manag 45(910):1329–1341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tafdrup S (1995) Viable energy production and waste recycling from anaerobic digestion of manure and other biomass materials. Biomass Bioenerg 9:303–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pushpa Singh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Subodh Sharma
    • 1
  • Bivek Baral
    • 2
  • N. R. Khatiwada
    • 1
  • Surya Man Shakya
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and EngineeringKathmandu UniversityDhulikhelNepal
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringKathmandu UniversityDhulikhelNepal
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Geomatics EngineeringKathmandu UniversityDhulikhelNepal

Personalised recommendations