Effect of long chain fatty acids removal as a pretreatment on the anaerobic digestion of food waste

  • Han Sang Cho
  • Hee Sun Moon
  • Jae Yong Lim
  • Jae Young Kim


This study investigated the effect of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) removal as a pretreatment prior to anaerobic digestion on the production of methane from food waste. The results showed that the anaerobic digestion of food waste containing 1.6 g COD/L of LCFAs was not inhibited (4 days lag-time, 78.3 % methane recovery in 35 days) compared to that of lipid free food waste (3 days lag time, 72.5 % methane recovery in 35 days); however, some unsaturated LCFAs, which are toxic to microorganism, were accumulated in the batch anaerobic digestion reactor. Meanwhile, in a methanogenic activity study, the activity of methanogens was observed to be linearly inhibited by the presence of more than 1 g COD/L of LCFAs. The possibility of the accumulation of unsaturated LCFAs in the reactor should be considered when operating a large-scale continuous system.


Long chain fatty acids Food waste Anaerobic digestion Pretreatment Methanogenic activity assay 



The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support from the SNU SIR Brain Korea 21 research program and Brain Korea 21 project funded by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development. Also, the Engineering Research Institute and Integrated Research Institute of Construction and Environmental Engineering technically supported this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Han Sang Cho
    • 1
    • 3
  • Hee Sun Moon
    • 2
  • Jae Yong Lim
    • 1
  • Jae Young Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringCollege of Engineering, Seoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.School of Earth and Environmental SciencesCollege of Natural Sciences, Seoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Dongbu SteelDaejeonKorea

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