Title : Effect of temperature and loading rate on biogas production via a co-digestion of sugar wastewater and food waste
Energy accessibility and waste management are some of the most significant challenges African countries face, including South Africa. On the other hand, waste can be used as a renewable resource to produce energy. This resource is one of the sustainable, old, and viable routes to help many developing countries manage massive amounts of the waste left unattended in landfills and discharged into water streams and oceans. This waste emanates in either liquid or solid form and negatively impacts the environment and, consequently, life in such an environment, i.e., human and animal lives. Among many ways of solving this waste issue is using it as a resource for producing valuable products such as biogas, biofuels, etc., which contribute to the circular economy. Also, this is in line with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 5, 7, 8, 9, and 13. Biogas can be produced from wastewater/ effluent and organic solid waste as substrates in a process called biodigestion. Research has shown that digestion of a single substrate produces less biogas than a co-digestion of two or more substrates. In this regard, the current research uses sugar wastewater and food waste as co-substrates for biogas production. The goal of the study is to produce biogas under optimum conditions. This biogas has the potential to be upgraded to electricity which may provide the solution to one of the national challenges in South Africa and elsewhere in the world. The country is experiencing staged load shedding because of electricity shortages currently, in which the electricity demand is higher than the current electricity generation, and urgent solutions are required.