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Biogas production is the conversion of the organic material into methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) under anaerobic conditions.Anaerobic digestion (AD) is widely used in continental and Scandinavian communities as both a waste treatment option and a source of renewable energy.
The extraction of proteins from leaves, integrated in a green biorefinery, may represent an attractive solution to the increasing demand for protein-rich animal feeds while decreasing the dependency on soybean imports.
Thereby such green biorefineries could contribute to the development of more self-sufficient and sustainable agricultural systems in Europe.
press cake and brown juice in the same ratio at which these fractions leave the biorefinery after protein extraction, could recover around 65% of the methane potential in the fresh crops.
The protein biorefining process was also evaluated in a demonstration scale plant, processing 444 tons of freshly harvested clover grass continuously during four days and producing 1 ton of dried protein concentrate and 7 tons of protein paste, to be evaluated in large-scale animal feeding trials with laying hens.
Macroalgae, commonly known as seaweeds, are particularly suitable as substrate for biogas (~ 60% methane) production through anaerobic digestion (AD).
However, seaweeds are not yet fully exploited as a feedstock for biogas since some obstacles need to be overcome.The organic matters contained in these de-oiled cakes can be converted to useful energy by adopting a proper waste-to-energy conversion process.Hence, an attempt was made in this investigation to use the Karanja seed cake (SCK) as a potential feedstock for producing biogas by anaerobic digestion, and the produced biogas was proposed as an alternative fuel for CI engines.The framework of this Ph D study is a green biorefinery concept for the production of protein concentrate, biogas and fertilizer from organic and locally grown green crops like alfalfa, clover or grass.After the screw pressing of the fresh crops, lactic acid fermentation of the green juice with Lactobacillus salivarius BC 1001 was assessed as the key method for the recovery of proteins.The leaf protein concentrates presented relatively high protein contents up to 46% DM, balanced amino acid compositions compared with soybeans and high proportions of essential amino acids for pigs and poultry.Anaerobic co-digestion of the process side stream fractions i.e.Besides, the influence of the development stage of the plants over the process yields, protein extractability and production of leaf protein concentrate was investigated.Results indicated that the overall extraction of proteins was reduced with maturity of the plants, and for this reason flowering should be avoided to optimize the production of leaf protein concentrates.The “Design of Experiment” (DOE) technique was employed as investigation method, since the response of interest (“methane yield”) was affected by several variables which can interact with each other.The advantage with respect to the traditional method of studying the effect of “One Factor at a Time” (OFAT) is that the DOE can detect and quantify the interactions between variables.