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Open AccessArticle

Volatile Fatty Acids Production from Microalgae Biomass: Anaerobic Digester Performance and Population Dynamics during Stable Conditions, Starvation, and Process Recovery

Biotechnological Processes Unit, IMDEA Energy, 28935 Madrid, Spain
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Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Molecules 2019, 24(24), 4544; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24244544
Received: 29 October 2019 / Revised: 2 December 2019 / Accepted: 10 December 2019 / Published: 12 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgae for Production of Bioproducts and Biofuels)
Disturbances in anaerobic digestion (AD) negatively impact the overall reactor performance. These adverse effects have been widely investigated for methane generation. However, AD recently appeared as a potential technology to obtain volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and thus, the impact of process disturbances must be evaluated. In this sense, microbial response towards a starvation period of two weeks was investigated resulting in a conversion of organic matter into VFAs of 0.39 ± 0.03 COD-VFAs/CODin. However, the lack of feeding reduced the yield to 0.30 ± 0.02 COD-VFAs/CODin. Microbial analysis revealed that the starvation period favored the syntrophic acetate-oxidizing bacteria coupled with hydrogenotrophic methanogens. Finally, the system was fed at 9 g COD/Ld resulting in process recovery (0.39 ± 0.04 COD-VFAs/CODin). The different microbiome obtained at the end of the process was proved to be functionally redundant, highlighting the AD robustness for VFAs production. View Full-Text
Keywords: anaerobic digestion; disturbance; microalgae; population dynamics; volatile fatty acids anaerobic digestion; disturbance; microalgae; population dynamics; volatile fatty acids
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Magdalena, J.A.; Tomás-Pejó, E.; González-Fernández, C. Volatile Fatty Acids Production from Microalgae Biomass: Anaerobic Digester Performance and Population Dynamics during Stable Conditions, Starvation, and Process Recovery. Molecules 2019, 24, 4544.

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