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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 3, p. 830-836
    Received: June 14, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): thc@er.dtu.dk
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Methane Production during Storage of Anaerobically Digested Municipal Organic Waste

  1. Trine Lund Hansena,
  2. Svend G. Sommerb,
  3. Søren Gabriela and
  4. Thomas H. Christensen *a
  1. a Institute of Environment & Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Building 113, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark
    b Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Foulum, Blichers Allé, Postbox 50, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark


Anaerobic digestion of source-separated municipal organic waste is considered feasible in Denmark. The limited hydraulic retention in the biogas reactor (typically 15 d) does not allow full degradation of the organic waste. Storage of anaerobically digested municipal organic waste can therefore be a source of methane (CH4) emission that may contribute significantly to the potential global warming impact from the waste treatment system. This study provides a model for quantifying the CH4 production from stored co-digested municipal organic waste and estimates the production under typical Danish climatic conditions, thus quantifying the potential global warming impact from storage of the digested municipal organic waste before its use on agricultural land. Laboratory batch tests on CH4 production as well as temperature measurements in eight full-scale storage tanks provided data for developing a model estimating the CH4 production in storage tanks containing digested municipal organic waste. The temperatures measured in separate storage tanks on farms receiving digested slurry were linearly correlated with air temperature. In storage tanks receiving slurry directly from biogas reactors, significantly higher temperatures were measured due to the high temperatures of the effluent from the reactor. Storage tanks on Danish farms are typically emptied in April and have a constant inflow of digested material. During the warmest months the content of digested material is therefore low, which limits the yearly CH4 production from storage.

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Copyright © 2006. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA