Low temperature anaerobic digestion of mixtures of llama, cow and sheep manure for improved methane production

René Alvarez, Gunnar Lidén

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94 Scopus citations


Biogas production in anaerobic digestion in farm-scale units is typically performed under mesophilic conditions when used for producing domestic fuel and stabilizing animal waste for the use of digested manure as a fertilizer. Previous studies on the digestion of llama and cow manure have shown the feasibility of producing biogas under altiplano conditions (low pressure and low temperature) and of llama manure as a promising feedstock. The present study concerns the utilization of various mixtures of feedstocks from the Bolivian altiplano under low temperature conditions (18-25 °C). Laboratory scale experiments were performed on the digestion of mixtures of llama, sheep and cow manure in a semi-continuous process using ten 2-L stainless steel digesters to determine the effects of organic loading rate (OLR) and the feed composition. The semi-continuous operation of mixture of llama-cow-sheep manure proved to be a reliable system, which could be operated with good stability. The results suggest that in a system digesting a mixture of llama-cow-sheep manure at low temperature (18-25 °C) the maximum OLR value is between 4 and 6 kg VS m3 d-1. The methane yields obtained in the mixture experiments were in the range 0.07-0.14 m3 kg-1 VS added, with a methane concentration in the gas of between 47 and 55%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-533
Number of pages7
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was financially supported by the Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation (SAREC).


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biogas
  • Biomethanation
  • Low temperature
  • Manure


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