Optimization of hydraulic retention time and organic loading rate for volatile fatty acid production from low strength wastewater in an anaerobic membrane bioreactor

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Journal Article
Bioresource Technology, 2019, 271 pp. 100 - 108
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd This study aims to investigate the production of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) from low strength wastewater at various hydraulic retention time (HRT) and organic loading rate (OLR) in a continuous anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) using glucose as carbon source. This experiment was performed without any selective inhibition of methanogens and the reactor pH was maintained at 7.0 ± 0.1. 48, 24, 18, 12, 8 and 6 h-HRTs were applied and the highest VFA concentration was recorded at 8 h with an overall VFA yield of 48.20 ± 1.21 mg VFA/100 mg COD feed . Three different ORLs were applied (350, 550 and 715 mg COD feed ) at the optimum 8 h-HRT. The acetic and propanoic acid concentration maximums were (1.1845 ± 0.0165 and 0.5160 ± 0.0141 mili-mole/l respectively) at 550 mg COD feed . The isobutyric acid concentration was highest (0.3580 ± 0.0407 mili-mole/l) at 715 mg COD feed indicating butyric-type fermentation at higher organic loading rate.
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