Influence of mechanical pretreatment and organic concentration of Irish brown seaweed for methane production

Abdul-Ghani Olabi, Maria Montingelli, Khaled Benyounis, Joseph Stokes, Brid Quilty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
225 Downloads (Pure)


The European Commission opened a discussion about limiting first generation food based biofuels in favour of advanced biofuels. The main reason was to limit the uncertainty in estimates of indirect land use change emissions (ILUC) of food based biofuels. Brown seaweeds represent a valuable solution. The lack of lignin makes them suitable for degradation processes such as anaerobic digestion (AD). The main output of AD is biogas which can be upgraded to biomethane and used as a transport fuel. The most common Irish brown seaweeds namely Laminaria sp. and Ascophyllum nodosum were subject to AD. The effects of beating pretreatment time (5e10e15 min) and changes in the seaweeds volatile solids (VS) concentration (1e2.5e4%) on methane production were investigated through a response surface methodology (RSM). Laminaria sp. showed the highest methane yield of 240 ml CH4 g1 VS when the pretreatment time was set at 15 min and at VS concentration of 2.5%. In the case of Ascophyllum nodosum, the best yield of 169 mL CH4 g1 VS was found at the longest pretreatment time tested and at the minimum concentration of VS. The RSM analysis revealed that the VS concentration had the strongest impact on the methane yield.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1089
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Laminaria sp.
  • Organic substrate concentration
  • Pretreatment
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Ascophyllum nodosum


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