Enhancing the solid-state anaerobic digestion of fallen leaves through simultaneous alkaline treatment

Lo Niee Liew, Jian Shi, Yebo Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that alkali pretreatment prior to anaerobic digestion (AD) can increase the digestibility of lignocellulosic biomass and methane yield. In order to simplify the process and reduce the capital cost, simultaneous alkali treatment and anaerobic digestion was evaluated for methane production from fallen leaves. The highest methane yield of 82. L/kg volatile solids (VS) was obtained at NaOH loading of 3.5% and substrate-to-inoculum (S/I) ratio of 4.1. The greatest enhancement in methane yield was achieved at S/I ratio of 6.2 with NaOH loading of 3.5% which was 24-fold higher than that of the control (without NaOH addition). Reactors at S/I ratio of 8.2 resulted in failure of the AD process. In addition, increasing the total solid (TS) content from 20% to 26% reduced biogas yield by 35% at S/I ratio of 6.2 and NaOH loading of 3.5%. Cellulose and hemicellulose degradation and methane yields are highly related.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8828-8834
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) Seeds Program ( 2008-043 ) and The Ohio Third Frontier Program ( 10-059 ). The authors thank Mrs. Mary Wicks (Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, OSU) for reading through the manuscript and providing useful suggestions.


  • Alkali pretreatment
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biogas
  • Dry fermentation
  • Leaves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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