The presented work studies the possibilities of using maize silage for biogas production in laboratory as well as in full-scale conditions. From the results of long-term operation of a mixed laboratory anaerobic reactor, it follows that processing of maize silage as a single substrate is an unstable process due to the low alkalinity of silage that has to be compensated by pH adjustment. Specific production of biogas was 0.655 m3/kg of volatile solids. Start-up of a full-scale anaerobic reactor of a biogas plant with the volume of 2450 m3 takes approximately 100 days. At the end of the start-up, the biogas plant reached the designed parameters—maize silage dose 6–7 t/d of total solids, the reactor load about 2.5 kg/(m3/d) of volatile solids, the biogas production of 4200 m3/d, electricity production of ca. 6600 kWh/d, and heat production of ca. 11,500 kWh/d. Processing of co-substrates in a biogas plant revealed both positive and negative effect on the biogas plant operation, for example, the meat and bone meal addition had a negative effect on the operation due to its high nitrogen content. Loading of crude glycerol (12.1% of the total volatile solids added) showed a positive and stabilizing effect.
Part of the book: Advances in Silage Production and Utilization