In Thailand, sewage sludge production from the Bangkok metropolitan area can reach up to 63,000
ton/y by 2010. The Beer-Thai Company, Thailand, produces beer and generates lots of sludge as waste. Sewage sludge and brewery sludge can be used to generate energy which could be saved on the fossil fuels conventionally used as a source of energy. The possibility was explored to mix brewery sludge with sewage sludge at different mixing ratios for anaerobic digestion so that the energy can be generated as biogas and at the same time, digested sewage sludge can be used as fertilizer for agricultural applications. A batch anaerobic reactor under mesophilic condition for a digestion period of 40 days was used in the laboratory. The acrylic reactor was cylindrical with a working weight of 12 kg. The diameter was 23.7 cm and the height was 34.5 cm. Sludge mixtures at different ratios were fed into the reactors and the optimum mixing ratio was determined. Experimental results showed that the sludge mixture at ratio of 25:75 % by weight (sewage:brewery) yielded higher biogas production. A reduction in heavy metals and pathogens was observed at this ratio after the digestion indicating its safe use as fertilizer. Nitrogen content was about 4.95 % which is well above the commercial fertilizers. At optimum mixing ratio of 25:75, the amount of the generated biogas is 1.15x106 m3/y. This large amount of biogas is equivalent to 1.44 million kWh/y of electricity, 561,000 L/y of diesel oil and 936,000 L/y of vehicle gasoline.
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