Performance and Mechanism of Potassium Ferrate(VI) Enhancing Dark Fermentative Hydrogen Accumulation from Waste Activated Sludge

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Journal Article
ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 2020, 8, (23), pp. 8681-8691
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© 2020 American Chemical Society. Potassium ferrate (K2FeO4, PF), as a multifunctional green oxidant, has been used for oxidative degradation of pollutants and recovery of resources in sludge. However, its impact on the generation of hydrogen in anaerobic fermentation of waste activated sludge (WAS) is still unclear. The purpose of this work is to study the influence of PF on the dark fermentative hydrogen production. Experimental result suggested that as PF increased from 0 to 0.09 g/g of TSS (total suspended solids), the maximal hydrogen production increased from 1.47 to 8.35 mL/g VSS (volatile suspended solids). A further increase to 0.12 g/g of TSS resulted in a decrease in hydrogen yield. Mechanism studies revealed that that the addition of PF not only facilitated the disruption of sludge cell and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) but also increased the proportion of biodegradable organics, providing more bioavailable organics for subsequent reactions involved in hydrogen accumulation. Although the activities of microorganisms relevant to dark fermentation were suppressed to a certain extent in the presence of PF, the induced suppression to hydrogen consumers was more severe. Microbial studies indicated that the relative abundances of hydrogen producers (such as Petrimonas and Proteiniborus) were augmented while hydrogen consumers (such as Methanosaeta and Methylocaldum) decreased in the presence of PF.
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