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Energies 2017, 10(1), 19; doi:10.3390/en10010019

A Simple Method for the Detection of Long-Chain Fatty Acids in an Anaerobic Digestate Using a Quartz Crystal Sensor

Center for Material Cycles and Waste Management Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba 305-8506, Japan
School of Engineering, University of Hyogo, 2167 Shosha, Himeji 671-2201, Japan
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Talal Yusaf
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 15 December 2016 / Published: 24 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Bioenergy and Biofuel)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1175 KB, uploaded 24 December 2016]   |  


In anaerobic digestion (AD), long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) produced by hydrolysis of lipids, exhibit toxicity against microorganisms when their concentration exceeds several millimolar. An absorption detection system using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) was developed to monitor the LCFA concentration during an anaerobic digester’s operation treating oily organic waste. The dissociation of the LCFAs considerably improved the sensor response and, moreover, enabled it to specifically detect LCFA from the mixture of LCFA and triglyceride. Under alkaline conditions, the frequency-shift rates of the QCM sensor linearly increased in accordance with palmitic acid concentration in the range of 0–100 mg/L. Frequency changes caused by anaerobic digestate samples were successfully measured after removing suspended solids and adjusting the pH to 10.7. Finally, the QCM measurements for digestate samples demonstrated that frequency-shift rates are highly correlated with LCFA concentrations, which confirmed that the newly developed QCM sensor is helpful for LCFA monitoring in terms of rapidness and usability. View Full-Text
Keywords: quartz crystal microbalance (QCM); long-chain fatty acids (LCFA); anaerobic digestion (AD); inhibition quartz crystal microbalance (QCM); long-chain fatty acids (LCFA); anaerobic digestion (AD); inhibition

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kobayashi, T.; Kuramochi, H.; Maeda, K.; Xu, K. A Simple Method for the Detection of Long-Chain Fatty Acids in an Anaerobic Digestate Using a Quartz Crystal Sensor. Energies 2017, 10, 19.

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