The aim of the article was to present the effects of lignin grafted with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as a microbial carrier in anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) of cheese (CE) and wafer waste (WF). Individual samples of waste cheese and wafers were also tested. The PVP modifier was used to improve the adhesive properties of the carrier surface. Lignin is a natural biopolymer which exhibits all the properties of a good carrier, including nontoxicity, biocompatibility, porosity, and thermal stability. Moreover, the analysis of the zeta potential of lignin and lignin combined with PVP showed their high electrokinetic stability within a wide pH range, that is, 4–11. The AcoD process was conducted under mesophilic conditions in a laboratory by means of anaerobic batch reactors. Monitoring with two standard parameters: pH and the VFA/TA ratio (volatile fatty acids-to-total alkalinity ratio) proved that the process was stable in all the samples tested. The high share of N–NH4+
in TKN (total Kjeldahl nitrogen), which exceeded 90% for WF+CE and CE at the last phases of the process, proved the effective conversion of nitrogen forms. The microbiological analyses showed that eubacteria proliferated intensively and the dehydrogenase activity increased in the samples containing the carrier, especially in the system with two co-substrates (WF+CE/lignin) and in the waste cheese sample (CE/lignin). The biogas production increased from 1102.00 m3
VS (volatile solids) to 1257.38 m3
VS in the WF+CE/lignin sample, and from 881.26 m3
VS to 989.65 m3
VS in the CE/lignin sample. The research results showed that the cell immobilization on lignin had very positive effect on the anaerobic digestion process.
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