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Emmanuel Kweinor Tetteh, Speaker at Catalysis Conference
Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Title : Application of biophotocatalytic system for CO2 mitigation in anerobic biogas production


With the rapid increase in global energy consumption and depletion of natural resources, economic assessment of photo -bioreactor technology in wastewater settings for water and energy (biogas) production comes as an essential drive for global sustainability development. Thus, recovering biogas and other valuable resources from wastewater treatment is foreseen as the centre for bio-based circular economy. In this study, an integrated Biophotoreactor (BP) systems incorporated `with titanium dioxide magnetite (2g of Fe-TiO2), activated sludge (450 mL) and wastewater (350 mL) were developed. A techno-economic analysis was carried out to evaluate the performance and economic viability of the integrated systems for the consideration of wastewater treatment, biogas production and carbon footprint improvement.  With a working volume of 0.8L and headspace of 0.2L, the BP system was operated at mesophilic temperature of 35oC for a hydraulic retention time of 30 days, was operated under two UV-light bulbs (T8 blacklight - blue tube, 365 nm, 18 W, Philips, Netherlands). Above 65% of chemical oxygen demand (1600±16.2 mg/L), Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (76 ±6.4 mg/L), total solids (135 ±12 mg/L) and volatile solids (94±6.8 mg/L) contained in the wastewater were removed by the BP at a pH of 6.5. The cumulative biogas estimated were 1125 mL/d and was successfully fitted on a modified Gompertz kinetic model. The the BP system energy assessment resulted in 2.04 kWh/L produced from the breakdown of the organic matter. Assuming 78% of the biomethane produced was used to power the UV-lights, the carbon emission reduction estimated was 464.37 kgCO2/kwh. Synergistically, the results of the integrating photocatalysis in biological system is viable for biogas production and wastewater purification. Therefore, the prospects of adapting this technology into the wastewater settings has sustainable tendency for both energy and wastewater reuse.

Keywords: Anaerobic digestion, biogas, biomethane, magnetic nanoparticles, wastewater, renewal energy


Emmanuel Kweinor Tetteh is a doctoral researcher with Green Engineering and Sustainability Research Group under the same department and supervision of Prof Sudesh Rathilal. His research focus aimed to develop magnetic photocatalyst for wastewater abatement and CO2 methanation from biogas. He also holds many accolades to his name, key among them being the ENI Award for the Young Talent from Africa, in a ceremony presented by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella. As a young researcher, he has authored and co-authored more than 30 peer reviewed journal papers, book chapters with google citations of 250 and h-index 10.