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Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 47, Issue 6, pp 640–644 | Cite as

Effects of support material on the pattern of volatile fatty acid accumulation at overload in anaerobic digestion of semi-solid waste

  • L. Björnsson
  • B. Mattiasson
  • T. Henrysson
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

Anaerobic degradation of a semi-solid waste with a total solids content of 4% particulate matter, much of it insoluble, was investigated in four laboratory-scale reactors. Two of the reactors were equipped with different textile materials for immobilisation of microorganisms, while the other two were used as continuously-stirred-tank reactor references. A constant organic loading rate and hydraulic retention time were used in the start-up period; the hydraulic retention time was then decreased and the effects of this change were monitored. Volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration and pH were chosen as indicators of the microbial status in the reactors. The reactors with support material showed a greater resistance to overload than did the continuously-stirred-tank reactors. This is in agreement with many studies undertaken on the anaerobic treatment of wastewater. However, no problems with clogging occurred, showing that a support material is also applicable in systems treating waste containing large amounts of insoluble, particulate matter. The pH was comparable to VFA for indicating an approaching process failure. However, the pattern of VFA accumulation was qualitatively different between the reactors with and without support material. Obviously the metabolic pattern of mixed cultures changes when the microorganisms are immobilised.

Keywords

Anaerobic Digestion Mixed Culture Support Material Hydraulic Retention Time Volatile Fatty Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Björnsson
    • 1
  • B. Mattiasson
    • 1
  • T. Henrysson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology, Centre for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Lund University, P.O. Box 124, S-221 00 Lund, SwedenSE

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