Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: Two-phase anaerobic digestion in leach bed reactors coupled to anaerobic filters: A review and the potential of biochar filters
Author: Collins, B.
Birzer, C.
Harris, P.
Kidd, S.
McCabe, B.
Medwell, P.
Citation: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2023; 175:113187-1-113187-19
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2023
ISSN: 1364-0321
Statement of
B.A. Collins, C.H. Birzer, P.W. Harris, S.P. Kidd, B.K. McCabe, P.R. Medwell
Abstract: Biochar addition in anaerobic digesters is an emerging technique for enhancing high-solids anaerobic digestion. Recycling of biochar can further enhance performance and reduce costs for biochar production; however, mixing biochar with feedstock and separating from digestate is impractical. A more pragmatic method of applying biochar for high-solids digestion could be coupling a leach bed reactor (LBR) with a biochar-packed anaerobic filter (AF) to form a two-phase system. Separating the anaerobic digestion process between reactors can improve process efficiency by enhancing hydrolysis and acidogenesis in the LBR and producing higher quality biogas in the AF. However, two-phase systems can be inefficient if separation of the anaerobic digestion process between reactors – referred to as phase separation – is poor. This article aims to: (i) integrate current knowledge from literature investigating batch LBR-AF systems to improve understanding of the role of different process parameters on phase separation and process efficiency; and (ii) explore the idea of biochar as a filter medium in an LBR-AF system. Feedstocks that rapidly degrade and have ongoing VFA production are particularly suitable for phase separation in LBR-AF systems. Controllable process parameters identified as critical for phase separation and process inhibitor mitigation include co-digestion, recirculation parameters, filter media properties, inoculation method and temperature. The application of biochar in other systems highlights the potential for LBR-AF application. Future research should consider trade-offs between biogas production and digestate quality when optimising LBR-AF performance, and assess economic viability considering the additional expenses of LBR-AF systems.
Keywords: Phase separation; High-solids anaerobic digestion; Leachate recirculation; Biogas production; Biochar; Co-digestion
Rights: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2023.113187
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Mechanical Engineering publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
hdl_137364.pdfPublished version1.56 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.