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Energies 2018, 11(9), 2325; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11092325

Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Sludge and Organic Food Waste—Performance, Inhibition, and Impact on the Microbial Community

1
Vatten & Miljö i Väst AB, P.O. Box 110, SE-311 22 Falkenberg, Sweden
2
Water Resources Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
3
Advanced Water Management Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, QLD, Australia
4
Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), Division of Industrial Electrical Engineering and Automation (IEA), Lund University, P.O. Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
5
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Gjuterigatan 1D, SE-582 73 Linköping, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Energy)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2143 KB, uploaded 5 September 2018]   |  

Abstract

Anaerobic co-digestion allows for under-utilised digesters to increase biomethane production. The organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW), i.e., food waste, is an abundant substrate with high degradability and gas potential. This paper investigates the co-digestion of mixed sludge from wastewater treatment plants and OFMSW, through batch and continuous lab-scale experiments, modelling, and microbial population analysis. The results show a rapid adaptation of the process, and an increase of the biomethane production by 20% to 40%, when co-digesting mixed sludge with OFMSW at a ratio of 1:1, based on the volatile solids (VS) content. The introduction of OFMSW also has an impact on the microbial community. With 50% co-substrate and constant loading conditions (1 kg VS/m3/d) the methanogenic activity increases and adapts towards acetate degradation, while the community in the reference reactor, without a co-substrate, remains unaffected. An elevated load (2 kg VS/m3/d) increases the methanogenic activity in both reactors, but the composition of the methanogenic population remains constant for the reference reactor. The modelling shows that ammonium inhibition increases at elevated organic loads, and that intermittent feeding causes fluctuations in the digester performance, due to varying inhibition. The paper demonstrates how modelling can be used for designing feed strategies and experimental set-ups for anaerobic co-digestion. View Full-Text
Keywords: anaerobic digestion; co-digestion; mathematical modelling; microbial community; solid waste; wastewater treatment anaerobic digestion; co-digestion; mathematical modelling; microbial community; solid waste; wastewater treatment
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Keucken, A.; Habagil, M.; Batstone, D.; Jeppsson, U.; Arnell, M. Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Sludge and Organic Food Waste—Performance, Inhibition, and Impact on the Microbial Community. Energies 2018, 11, 2325.

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