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Fabrication and Performance Assessment of Desulfurizing Systems for Large-Scale Biodigesters in Cambodia

Commercial pig farms in Cambodia produce great amounts of wastewater. To convert wastewater into energy, many farms have installed simple covered lagoon digesters. However, most biodigesters lack desulfurizing systems to reduce H2S present in biogas for smooth generator operation. Desulfurizing systems are not available locally and must be imported from abroad. They are expensive, while after-sale service is hard to find. These factors may lead reluctancy to fully invest in biogas systems. Therefore, this paper aimed to compare biogas quantity and quality between two desulfurizing systems, to analyze electricity generation and generator efficiency, and to perform economic assessment of the desulfurizing systems. The study was conducted on two large-scale pig farms in two different periods. The first period was with a pig farm of 20,000 fattening pigs and 6,000 sows in Preah Sihanoukville Province, from October 2021 to July 2022. The second period targeted a pig farm of 5,000 fattening pigs and 600 sows in Kampong Thom Province between May 2022 and May 2023. The results show that biogas quantity was greater with the first farm because it had more pigs. CH4, CO2, and O2 were not different before and after desulfurization for each desulfurizing system. CH4 measured on the farm that used the Chinese desulfurizing system was 52.1%, much lower than the farm with the BTIC desulfurizing system (62.9% CH4) due to high O2 concentration inside the biogas pipe. H2S was affected by desulfurization and reduced to lower than 100 ppm, which is good for generator operation. Due to larger generator size, the first farm produced greater output power (276 kW), when compared to the second farm that had output power of 125 kW. Higher generator efficiency was also observed on the first farm, but loading rate was similar for both farms. Depreciation costs for the Chinese desulfurizing system were 3,375 USD/year, being 4.3 times higher than those of the BTIC prototype (787.5 USD/year). The size and capacity of the BTIC desulfurizing system is similar to the Chinese product. Thus, if the first farm used the BTIC prototype, huge amounts of money could be saved annually. In conclusion, the BTIC desulfurizing system had a working performance similar to that of the Chinese product, but had low depreciation costs, denoting huge savings. Further studies should focus on the dissemination of the BTIC prototype to more pig farms through collaboration with the private sector and fabricators for strong market linkage.

Anaerobic Condition, Biogas, Covered Lagoon, Generator, Iron Pellets, Manure

Lyhour Hin, Lytour Lor, Dyna Theng, Chan Makara Mean, Sovanndy Yut, et al. (2023). Fabrication and Performance Assessment of Desulfurizing Systems for Large-Scale Biodigesters in Cambodia. Applied Engineering, 7(1), 19-26.

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This article 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.

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