Anaerobic co-digestion of food waste and chemically enhanced primary-treated sludge under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions

Parthiba Karthikeyan OBULISAMY, Debkumar Chakraborty, Ammaiyappan Selvam, Jonathan W C WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anaerobic co-digestion of food waste with primary sewage sludge is beneficial for urban centers, while the optimized conditions reported in the literature are not locally suitable for Hong Kong. Therefore, the present study was aimed to develop an optimized mixing ratio of food waste to chemically enhanced primary-treated sewer sludge (CEPT) for co-digestion using batch tests under mesophilic (37°C) and thermophilic (55°C) conditions. The mixing ratios of 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 2:1 and 3:1 (v v−1) of food waste to CEPT sludge was tested under the following conditions: temperature – 35°C and 55°C; pH – not regulated; agitation – 150 rpm and time – 20 days. The thermophilic incubations led a good hydrolysis rate and 2–12-fold higher enzyme activities than in mesophilic incubations for different mixing ratios. While the acidogenesis were found retarded that leading to ‘sour and stuck’ digestion for all mixing ratio of food waste to CEPT sludge from thermophilic incubations. The measured zeta potential was most favourable (−5 to −16.8 mV) for methane production under thermophilic incubations; however the CH4 recovery was less than that in mesophilic incubations. The results suggested that the quick hydrolysis and subsequent acid accumulation under thermophilic incubation lead to inhibited methanogenesis at the early stage than in mesophilic systems. It is concluded that buffer addition is therefore required for any mixing ratio of food waste to CEPT sludge for improved CH4 recovery for both mesophilic and thermophilic operations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3200-3207
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Volume37
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal

User-Defined Keywords

  • Anaerobic co-digestion
  • food waste
  • iron
  • primary sludge
  • volatile fatty acids

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