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Optimization and Analysis of a Low-Pressure Water Scrubbing Biogas Upgrading System via the Taguchi and Response Surface Methodology Approaches

1Department of Energy Technology, School of Engineering and Technology, Kenyatta University, Kenya, Kenya

2Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering and Technology, Kenyatta University, Kenya

3School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Pwani University, Kenya, Kenya

Received: 11 Aug 2022; Revised: 27 Sep 2022; Accepted: 12 Oct 2022; Available online: 19 Oct 2022; Published: 1 Jan 2023.
Editor(s): H Hadiyanto
Open Access Copyright (c) 2023 The Author(s). Published by Centre of Biomass and Renewable Energy (CBIORE)
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Abstract
Biogas upgrading is essential in order to increase the calorific value and improve the quality of raw biogas. This present study aims at investigating the optimum performance of a near atmospheric pressure water scrubbing (NAPWS) system for biogas upgrading while using both the adsorption and absorption techniques. This was achieved through a two-stage process: namely, the Taguchi approach followed by the response surface methodology (RSM). The Taguchi orthogonal array design consisted of 27 runs where the raw biogas pressure (10 - 30 kPa), liquid flow rates (2.6 - 4.2 l/ min.) and variations of the steel wool height (0 - 45.72 cm) in the adsorption column were experimentally studied with respect to the methane (CH4) yield and removal efficiency of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2). From the experiments, the removal efficiency of hydrogen sulfide was greater than 87% with the average bio-methane content of 77.67%. During the second-stage, the analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the RSM were undertaken for optimization of the process parameters. The optimum bio-methane concentration of 84.71 (%v/v) CH4 and 13.31 (%v/v) CO2 was attained at gas pressure of 14kPa, liquid flow rate of 4.2 l/min., and steel wool height at 22.86cm obtained through numerical optimization. These results revealed that the utilization of the Taguchi and the RSM yielded to the best optimal system performance with the liquid flow rate as the most significant factor
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Keywords: Biogas upgrading; Biogas yield; Packings; Taguchi method; Response surface methodology.
Funding: The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

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