Bio-methane from an-aerobic digestion using activated carbon adsorption

Muhammad Farooq*, Alexandra H. Bell, Muhammad Nurudeen Almustapha, John M. Andresen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


There is an increasing global demand for carbon-neutral bio-methane from an-aerobic digestion (AD) to be injected into national gas grids. Bio-gas, a methane -rich energy gas, is produced by microbial decomposition of organic matter through an-aerobic conditions where the presence of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide affects its performance. Although the microbiological process in the AD can be tailored to enhance the bio-gas composition, physical treatment is needed to convert the bio-gas into bio-methane. Water washing is the most common method for upgrading bio-gas for bio-methane production, but its large use of water is challenging towards industrial scale-up. Hence, the present study focuses on scale-up comparison of water washing with activated-carbon adsorption using HYSYS and Aspen Process Economic Analyzer. The models show that for plants processing less than 500 m3/h water scrubbing was cost effective compared with activated carbon. However, against current fossil natural-gas cost of about 1 p/kWh in the UK both relied heavily on governmental subsidies to become economically feasible. For plants operating at 1000 m3/hr, the treatment costs were reduced to below 1.5 p/kWh for water scrubbing and 0.9 p/kWh for activated carbon where the main benefits of activated carbon were lower capital and operating costs and virtually no water losses. It is envisioned that this method can significantly aid the production of sustainable bio-methane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
Early online date5 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Activated carbon
  • Adsorption
  • An-aerobic digestion
  • Bio-methane
  • Microbiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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