Biogas production

V. Franco Puntes, E. Casals Mercadal, E.E. González, X. Font Segura, A. Sánchez Ferrer, A. García Mestre, L. Delgado Ramisa

Institut Català de Nanotecnologia (ICN), Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

A new delivery system for increasing biogas production from organic waste is presented. This system is based on the increase in anaerobic digestion, and consequently of methane production, due to the presence of iron ions, introduced to the reactor in the form of iron oxide nanoparticles. Iron has been shown to strongly enhance anaerobic digestion, but introducing the standard form of the metal ion in an anaerobic closed reactor is problematic. The new system is based on the use of biodegradable nanoparticles, facilitating the sustained production over time of iron ions in the reaction medium.

Reference papers:  Sustained Release of Iron Ions from Nanoparticles in Anaerobic Consortia Boost Methane Production. In preparation.

Patent info: Patent No. WO 2012/123331 (Priority date: March 11, 2011) [Status: National stage filing]

TEM images of Iron Oxide NPs and microorganisms in the sludge. Encircled: Iron oxide NPs modified by microbiota metabolism. Right: Detail. Left Up and Middle: Iron oxide NPs associated to microorganism. Left Down: The iron oxide NPs of 7 nm mean diameter as synthesized.

Iron oxide nanoparticles in toluene

Iron oxide nanoparticles in water

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