Macroalgae are biomass resources that can represent a valuable feedstock to produce renewable energy via methane production. In order to diversify the feedstock of raw materials for anaerobic digestion new kind of macroalgae are investigated. Composition of the algae Palmaria palmata is suggested to be a good substrate for anaerobic digestion due to its high content in volatile solids and low content of cations. In this study, P. palmata was investigated and compared to Saccharina latissima for biogas production in both batch and semi-continuous reactors. P. palmata permitted a better production of methane than for S. latissima either in batch (279mLCH4gVS-1vs 210mLCH4gVS-1) or in semi-continuous reactor (320mLCH4gVS-1vs 270mLCH4gVS-1). In semi-continuous experiments, after 182days of operation, a decrease in reactor performances such as methane yields occurred above a specific loading rate in the order of 408gVSkgVSS-1d-1. Inhibition by potassium and sodium observed in semi-continuous mode was confirmed by batch experiments. The initial methane production rate was reduced by 53% when potassium and sodium concentrations were equivalent to the ones observed at semi-continuous reactor failure (13.0gL-1for potassium and 4.1gL-1for sodium). The lower performances of semi-continuous anaerobic digestion of S. latissima than the ones obtained with P. palmata, may be increased by a higher accumulation of cations. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
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