This study compared single- and two-stage mesophilic fermentation of Laminaria digitata. The two-stage system comprised a hydrolysis reactor (H1) with a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 4 days followed by two methanogenesis reactors M1 and M2 with HRT of 20 and 14 days respectively. The single-stage reactor (M3) had an HRT of 24 days. Specific methane yields of 176, 234 and 221 L/kg VS were obtained for M1, M2 and M3. The methane concentration of the biogas was 22% higher for the two-stage system (58–61%) than the single-stage system (50%). Hydrolysis yielded a hydrogen yield of 26 L/kg VS. The two-stage system (H1, M2) provided an overall energy yield of 8.66 MJ/kg at an HRT of 18 days compared to 7.89 MJ/kg in the single-stage system with an HRT of 24 days. Thus, the two-stage system reduced the HRT by 33% whilst improving the energy conversion by 9.8%.
Guneratnam, A. J., Xia, A., & Murphy, J. D. (2017). Comparative study of single- and two-stage fermentation of the brown seaweed Laminaria digitata. Energy Conversion and Management, 148, 405–412. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2017.06.013