Anaerobic Co-digestion of Food Waste with Cow Manure

Document Type: Short Communication


Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Nepal


The composition of waste generated in urban areas of Nepal is primarily decomposable which provides scope to convert the waste into energy.  In addition, organic fraction of municipal waste is a serious environmental and economic burden in Nepal. In this study, samples from food waste were taken from household of Biratnagar Metropolitan city and Kathmandu University Canteen, Dhulikhel. The samples were analyzed for physical and chemical properties and biogas production. The feed containing 6% TS were analyzed for the potential of biogas production from the canteen food waste (CFW) of Kathmandu University (KU) and household food waste (HFW) from Biratnagar in ambient and control temperature (35 ℃) in a batch reactor.  This was also conducted for food waste mixed with 30% cow manure in both the conditions. The average total solid and volatile solid for BFW were 17.7 and 93.2% of TS and CFW were 19.9 and 90.2% of TS, respectively. In every run of the experiment, the volume changes of gas were monitored. Both in the ambient and the controlled temperature, biogas production and yield were higher when 30% cow dung as inoculum was added in both samples. Moreover, the biogas production and yield of CFW was also higher than the BFW at different conditions. This shows that food wastes characteristics and biogas production potential varies depending on the source of the food waste, inoculum added and operating condition for the anaerobic digestion process.