With fossil fuels being the primary source of energy in today’s world, different types of biofuels and bioenergy have been proposed to reduce our reliance on them. In recent years, Mexico has been suffering from the overaccumulation of the macroalgae species known as Sargassum on its Caribbean coastal shoreline. The purpose of this study is to investigate the usage of Sargassum as feedstock for an anaerobic digestion system. First, batch experiments were conducted to understand the methane yield of the Sargassum. The results showed that the Sargassum ilicifolium has a low methane yield. According to other studies, food waste can show up to 410 NmL/g-VS while Sargassum shows 177 NmL/g-VS. We chose thermal and ultrasound pretreatments for this research to increase the methane yield. Both thermal and ultrasound pretreatments showed a 10% and 43% increase in methane yields. Mexico has a vast production of agricultural products. Therefore, we tried co-digestion with corn. Results showed that methane yields of corn, Sargassum, and co-digestion are 268, 177, and 211 NmL/g-VS, respectively. These results may lead to a better understanding of the utilization of Sargassum as biomass in Mexico.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.