5 years ago

Accumulation of propionic acid during consecutive batch anaerobic digestion of commercial food waste

Accumulation of propionic acid during consecutive batch anaerobic digestion of commercial food waste
The objective of this study was to test three different alternatives to mitigate the destabilizing effect of accumulation of ammonia and volatile fatty acids during food waste anaerobic digestion. The three options tested (low temperature, co-digestion with paper waste and trace elements addition) were compared using consecutive batch reactors. Although methane was produced efficiently (∼500ml CH4 gVS−1; 16l CH4 lreactor−1), the concentrations of propionic acid increased gradually (up to 21.6gl−1). This caused lag phases in the methane production and eventually led to acidification at high substrate loads. The addition of trace elements improved the kinetics and allowed higher substrate loads, but could not avoid propionate accumulation. Here, it is shown for the first time that addition of activated carbon, trace elements and dilution can favor propionic acid consumption after its accumulation. These promising options should be optimized to prevent propionate accumulation.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0960852417314633

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