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Long-Term Evaluation of Mesophilic Semi-Continuous Anaerobic Digestion of Olive Mill Solid Waste Pretreated with Steam-Explosion

1
Instituto de la Grasa (CSIC), Campus Universitario Pablo de Olavide, Edificio 46, Ctra. de Utrera km 1, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
2
School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland, Campus St. Lucia—AEB Ed 49, St Lucia, QLD 4067, Australia
3
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Sevilla, Higher Technical School of Engineering, Camino de los Descubrimientos, s/n, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
4
Department of Cell Biology, University of Sevilla, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(11), 2222; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12112222
Received: 23 May 2019 / Revised: 7 June 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biorefinery Based on Olive Biomass)
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Abstract

Steam-explosion is a promising technology for recovering phenolic compounds from olive mill solid waste (OMSW) due to its high impact on the structure of the fibre. Moreover, the recovery of the phenols, which are well-known microbial inhibitors, could improve the subsequent biomethanization of the dephenolized OMSW to produce energy. However, there is a considerable lack of knowledge about how the remaining phenolic compounds could affect a long-term biomethanization process of steam-exploded OMSW. This work evaluated a semi-continuous mesophilic anaerobic digestion of dephenolized steam-exploited OMSW during a long operational period (275 days), assessing different organic loading rates (OLRs). The process was stable at an OLR of 1 gVS/(L·d), with a specific production rate of 163 ± 28 mL CH4/(gVS·d). However, the increment of the OLR up to 2 gVS/(L·d) resulted in total exhaust of the methane production. The increment in the propionic acid concentration up to 1486 mg/L could be the main responsible factor for the inhibition. Regardless of the OLR, the concentration of phenolic compounds was always lower than the inhibition limits. Therefore, steam-exploited OMSW could be a suitable substrate for anaerobic digestion at a suitable OLR. View Full-Text
Keywords: anaerobic digestion; economic evaluation; olive mill solid waste; phenolic compounds; steam explosion anaerobic digestion; economic evaluation; olive mill solid waste; phenolic compounds; steam explosion
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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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Serrano, A.; Fermoso, F.G.; Alonso-Fariñas, B.; Rodríguez-Gutiérrez, G.; López, S.; Fernandez-Bolaños, J.; Borja, R. Long-Term Evaluation of Mesophilic Semi-Continuous Anaerobic Digestion of Olive Mill Solid Waste Pretreated with Steam-Explosion. Energies 2019, 12, 2222.

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