Anaerobic Digestion of Organic Wastes Generated in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. A Biorefinery Approach

  • Akinleye Sowunmi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


One of the most important challenges that our world will face in the twenty-first century is its ability to meet the increasing energy needs of the growing human population. In addition to this, global warming has taken center stage as a major climatic issue that must be addressed. This ushered in the need to find a dependable long term energy source. Biomass is a promising candidate and a complimentary energy source to the use of fossil fuels. Biomass can be decomposed in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic digestion) to produce methane and carbon dioxide; collectively called biogas. This study conducted the mapping and characterization of nine organic wastes generated in Abu Dhabi. The biogas potential of food waste, animal dung (camel, cattle, sheep and goat), animal blood, and waste paper (A4 paper, newspaper and carton paper) were evaluated at mesophilic temperature conditions in batch bioreactors to determine their suitability for biogas production. Inhibition to biogas production at different loading ratios was also investigated. The effect of steam pretreatment (121℃, 30 minutes) on maximum biogas yield for each biomass was also conducted. This study also included an impact assessment of the total greenhouse gas emission potential of animal manure from the cattle population bred in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Results showed that food waste is the most attractive of the nine biomasses for biogas production, recording yield of 517.38 mL CH4/g-VSadded (STP), while newspaper waste was the least attractive. Used A4 paper and carton paper are also good options for biogas production. Pretreatment had significant impact on biogas yield of cattle, goat and sheep dung, blood waste and waste newspaper. It had minor impact on the yield of camel dung and had no impact on the yield of carton paper and used A4 paper.
Date of Award2014
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorJens Schmidt (Supervisor)


  • Organic Wastes; Environmental Aspects; Pollution; United Arab Emirates.

Cite this