Integrating animal manure-based bioenergy production with invasive species control: A case study at Tongren Pig Farm in China

Jianbo Lu, Lei Zhu, Guoliang Hu, Jianguo Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Integrated approach and bioresource engineering are often required to deal with multiple and interactive environmental problems for sustainable development at local and regional scales. Pig farming has flourished with fast growing economy and increasing human demands for meat in China. Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), a noxious invasive species, has encroached into most of the local rivers and lakes. Both the wastes from the booming pig farms as well as the massive plant materials of water hyacinth have caused a range of serious ecological and environmental problems. Here we present an integrated sustainable, ecological and experimental study that was designed to deal with these two problems simultaneously. Our experimental results showed that the mixtures of water hyacinth with pig manure consistently had much higher biogas production than pig manure alone, and that the highest biogas production was achieved when 15% of the fermentation substrates were water hyacinth. Our analysis further revealed that the changing C/N ratio and the lignin content in the fermentation feedstock due to the addition of water hyacinth might be two important factors affecting the biogas production. We also found that the solar-powered water-heating unit significantly increased the biogas production (especially in winter time). Overall, the project proved to be successful ecologically and socially. Through such an integrated approach and bioresource engineering, wastes are treated, energy is harvested, and the environment is protected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-827
Number of pages7
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Biogas production
  • Biomass energy
  • Integrated approach
  • Pig manure fermentation
  • Solar energy
  • Sustainable development
  • Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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