Proceedings of the
Second International Energy 2030 Conference,
November 4-5, 2008, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
Removal of Fermentation Gases Accelerates
Anaerobic Digestion to Methane
Richard A. Kohn
University of Maryland, USA
Solar energy and waste products can be converted to fuels through microbial digestion and
fermentation of biomass. Methane (CH4) gas is one of the most efficiently produced biofuels. Current
processes using microorganisms to digest biomass and produce CH4 are slow and require large reactors.
We are developing faster methods that use microorganisms from the first stomach chamber (rumen) of
cows. These microorganisms readily digest plant fiber, and diluting and removing fermentation gases
accelerates the digestion process further.