Co-digestion of cow and sheep manure: Performance evaluation and relative microbial activity

Yu Li, Spyridon Achinas, Jing Zhao, Bert Geurkink, Janneke Krooneman, Gerrit Jan Willem Euverink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study evaluated the performance of anaerobic co-digestion of cow manure (CM) and sheep manure (SM) in both batch and continuous digesters at 37 °C. Synergistic effects of co-digesting CM and SM at varying volatile solids (VS) ratios (1:0, 0:1, 3:1, 1:1, 1:3) were observed in the batch experiment, with the most effective degradation of cellulose (56%) and hemicellulose (55%), and thus, the highest cumulative methane yield (210 mL/gVSadded) obtained at a CM:SM ratio of 1:3. Co-digesting CM and SM improved the hydrolysis, as evidenced by the cellulase brought by SM and the increases of cellulolytic bacteria Clostridium. Besides, co-digestion enhanced the acidogenesis and methanogenesis, reflected by the enrichment of syntrophic bacteria Candidatus Cloacimonas and hydrogenotrophic archaea Methanoculleus (Coenzyme-B sulfoethylthiotransferase). When testing continuous digestion, the methane yield increased from 146 mL/gVS/d (CM alone) to 179 mL/gVS/d (CM:SM at 1:1) at a constant organic loading rate (OLR) of 1g VS/L/d and a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 25 days. Furthermore, the anaerobic digestion process was enhanced when the daily feed changed back to CM alone, reflected by the improved daily methane yield (159 mL/VS/d). These results provided insights into the improvement of methane production during the anaerobic digestion of animal manure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553
Number of pages563
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • cow manure
  • sheep manure
  • anaerobic digestion
  • co-digestion
  • microbial community


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