Quinoa stalk (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) from agricultural crop residue, totora (Schoenoplectus tatora) and o-macrophytes (aquatic flora) from Lake Titicaca (on the Bolivian Altiplano) were studied in a wet anaerobic co-digestion process together with manure from llama, cow and sheep. Anaerobic semi-continuous experiments were performed in (10) 2-l reactors at a temperature of 25 °C with 30 days of hydraulic retention time (HRT) and an organic loading rate (OLR) of 1.8 kg VS m-3 d-1. Totora was found to be the best co-substrate. In mixture ratios of 1:1 (VS basis), it increased the biogas productivity by 130% for llama manure, 60% for cow manure, and 40% for sheep manure. It was possible to use up to 58% (VS basis) of totora in the substrate. Higher concentrations (including pure totora) could not be digested, as that caused acidification problems similar to those caused by other lignocellulosic materials. When quinoa and o-macrophytes were used as co-substrates, the increase in biogas productivity was slightly less. However, these co-substrates did not cause any operational problems. An additional advantage of quinoa and o-macrophytes was that they could be used in any proportion (even in pure form) without causing any destabilization problems in the anaerobic digestion process.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was financially supported by SIDA, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.