Effluents from the juice and fruit processing industries have high organic matter content. Discharge of these effluents without appropriate treatment would therefore have a negative impact on the environment. High organic contents and low contamination levels make such effluents suitable for biological treatment, especially anaerobic digestion. In the latter process, significant amounts of digester gas can be produced, turning a waste stream into a source of renewable energy that can be used for electricity and heat production, leading to financial benefits.This paper investigates the feasibility of anaerobic digestion and the gas generation potential of five different effluents from the carrot-juice, orange-juice and sultana processing industries. Benefits are assessed in terms of digester gas production and organic matter reduction. The results show that the specific gas production ranges between 665 and 860 m3 per tonne of effluent treated (as organic dry matter). Furthermore, nearly 100% of the organic matter is converted into gas in the case of the carrot- and orange-juice processing residues, while a 84.5% reduction of the organic matter was found to be achievable in the case of the sultana wastes. While these results are promising, further testing will be required to validate them in a larger scale.
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