Novel stepwise pH control strategy to improve short chain fatty acid production from sludge anaerobic fermentation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Bioresource Technology, 2018, 249 pp. 431 - 438
Issue Date:
2018-02-01
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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd This study reports an innovative strategy known as stepwise pH fermentation, developed to enhance the production of short chain volatile fatty acids (SCFA) from waste activated sludge (WAS) anaerobic fermentation. Experimental results confirmed the optimal pH for WAS disruption and acidification was 11 and 9, respectively, and corresponding optimal time was, respectively, 5 d and 2 d. In this scenario, the optimal SCFA yield was 2356 mg chemical oxygen demand (COD)/L, which was much higher than that derived from alkaline fermentation system. Investigation of the mechanism indicated that pH 11 could accelerate the disruption of WAS and inhibit the activities of methanogens; furthermore, pH 9 was beneficial to the activity of acid-producing bacteria, resulting in more SCFA production. Stepwise pH fermentation integrated with sodium chloride (NaCl) present in WAS had synergistic impacts on WAS anaerobic fermentation.
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