Corn industrial wastewater (nejayote): a promising substrate in Mexico for methane production in a coupled system (APCR-UASB)
In Mexico, the corn tortilla is a food of great economic importance. Corn tortilla production generates about 1500–2000 m3 of wastewater per 600 tons of processed corn. Although this wastewater (also known as nejayote) has a high organic matter content, few studies in Mexico have analyzed its treatment. This study presents fresh data on the potential methane production capacity of nejayote in a two-phase anaerobic digestion system using an Anaerobic-Packed Column Reactor (APCR) to optimize the acidogenic phase and an up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor to enhance the methanogenic process. Results indicate that day 8 was ideal to couple the APCR to the UASB reactor. This allowed for a 19-day treatment that yielded 96% COD removal and generated a biogas containing 84% methane. The methane yield was 282 L kg−1 of CODremoved. Thus, two-phase anaerobic digestion is an efficient process to treat nejayote; furthermore, this study demonstrated the possibility of using an industrial application by coupling the APCR to the UASB reactor system, in order to assess its feasibility for biomethane generation as a sustainable bioenergy source.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-017-0479-z
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