Keywords: anaerobic digester, animal dung, biogas, dual-fuel generator
Matching of an anaerobic animal waste digester with a dual-fuel generator unit
This paper describes a scientific method for matching an anaerobic fermentation digester using animal dung with a diesel engine power-generating unit, in such a way as to specify the digester capacity to be suitable for various specific energy needs. An experimental model consisting of an Indian-type digester connected to a constant speed, single cylinder 3 kW diesel engine, was designed, constructed and tested in the laboratory to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the performance. The engine was operated with dual fuel (biogas and diesel). A performance map was derived to express the ability of the digester to satisfy the different loading conditions of the engine at different mass ratios of the two fuels. Dimensional analysis was carried out to compile the geometric and operating variables of the digester to establish a relation that can be used to demonstrate the effect of the daily loading on the rate of biogas generation using different digester capacities and different proportions of solids in the fermentation material. The study provides the means to match the geometric and dynamic parameters of a digester to specific power requirements within the applied range.