Chapter 13

UASB Reactor Coupled Contact Bed Process for the Clean Extraction of Banana Pseudostem Fibres

J. S. Jayaprabha and V. B. Manilal

Abstract

A large quantity of biomass generated aspseudo stem after banana bunch harvesting is presently discarded as waste by farmers due to the lack of proper utilization. These wasted banana pseudo stem biomass are rich sources of natural fibres. Current extraction methods such as mechanical and manual have many problems and are unable to produce quality fibres in bulk. The present paper reports the anaerobic separation of fibres from banana pseudo stem using a UASB reactor coupled contact bed for the production of clean fibres. Fibre separation was achieved in 6-7 days at the optimum pH and temperature in UASB coupled contact bed. Parameters specific to the process such as COD, biogas and extracellular hydrolytic enzymes of the process water were monitored during the anaerobic separation of banana pseudo stem fibre in the contact bed. The UASB reactor coupled contact bed was advantageous for the extraction of banana pseudo stem fibre where biogas is generated from the anaerobic degradation of cementing molecules, mainly pectin, concomitantly at around 5 litre/Kg pseudo stem. The optimization of pH and temperature for the maximum pectinases activity were also studied separately. Optimum pH and temperature for pectinases activity were at pH 7.0 and 30oC, respectively. There were no damages to fibres and yield was higher when compared to mechanical or physical extraction methods.

Total Pages: 186-193 (8)

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