(54c) Implementation of Six Sigma in a Methane Generation Process

Authors: 
Manchenahalli, M., Missouri University Science and Technology
Al-Rubaye, H., Missouri Science and Technology
Karambelkar, S., Missouri University Science and Technology
Distillery process waste water contains organic and inorganic compounds with high COD strength, which causes negative impact on environment. Instead of discharging this waste water to sewer system, it can be pre-treated and used for energy generation before discharging it to the environment. The pre-treatment that possibly used is the anaerobic digestion process, several groups of bacteria will feed on this waste water to generate methane gas. An expanded granular sludge bed reactor has been utilized as the main reactor for this process. The biogas produced will be mainly consists of methane and carbon dioxide. In this paper we studied, how to improve the biogas production and improving methane composition in the generated gas using Six Sigma methodology. DMAIC (Define Measure Analyze Improve Control) method has been implemented in this biogas production process so, process failure could be identified, improve the gauges used in measurement and finally, enhance the yield and composition of methane.

Six Sigma DMAIC methodology behaves as a roadmap to understand various unexplored areas in this process that could help in organizing and updating the standard operating procedure for the experiments. The improvement was observed after introducing six sigma tools and concepts in our experiment, the yield was increased from 11 gallons to 28 gallons in 60 hours which is an impressive 154.5% increase in yield and increase in the percentage composition of methane in the yield from 50% to 76%.