Waste and Biomass Valorization

, Volume 10, Issue 8, pp 2119–2128 | Cite as

Assessment of Batch and Semi-continuous Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste at Psychrophilic Range at Different Food Waste to Inoculum Ratios and Organic Loading Rates

  • Pedro MuñozEmail author
Short Communication



At present, most studies have been focused on anaerobic digestion (AD) of food waste (FW) at temperatures above 35 °C. While AD of FW at psychrophilic temperature has been rarely reported, this may be a more economical procedure for municipal solid waste (MSW) management by reducing the organic fraction content and the corresponding environmental impact from its disposal.


FW and inoculum have been characterized and AD of FW assays have been run for 12 weeks in accordance with VDI 4630. The effect of FW to inoculum ratio (FWIR) has been assessed in batch assays and the organic load rate (OLR) has been tested in semi-continuous operation mode. In addition, soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD) evolution has been periodically measured during all tests.


Results showed an important reduction of specific methane yield (SMY) (up to 65%) when FWIR is increased (from 0.5 to 1.5) in batch tests while SCOD removal remains quite constant (approx. 90%). On the other hand, during semi-continuous operation SMY and SCOD removal have been highly reduced (up to approx. 70 and 73%) when OLR is increased (from 1 to 3 g_VS L−1 d−1).


Despite the low SMY, the AD of FW at psychrophilic temperature is a feasible solution, especially at low organic loads. Therefore, it may be used in decentralized strategies for improving the MSW management. This operation mode reduces installation costs and reactor operation complexity at the same time decreases the SCOD of municipal waste stream.


Biogas Methane Low temperature Food waste Organic load rate Substrate to inoculum rate 



Special thanks go out to the Chilean Ministry of Education, in particular to CONICYT which has been supported this research throughout the FONDECYT INICIACION Project Number 11.140.728.


  1. 1.
    Li, Z.S., Yang, L., Qu, X.Y., Sui, Y.M.: Municipal solid waste management in Beijing City. Waste Manage. 29, 2596–2599 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sethi, S., Kothiyal, N.C., Nema, A.K., Kaushik, M.K.: Characterization of municipal solid waste in Jalandhar City, Punjab, India. J. Hazard. Toxic Radioact. Waste. 17(2), 97–106 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Iacovidou, E., Ohandja, D.G., Gronow, J., Voulvoulis, N.: The household use of food waste disposal units as a waste management option: a review. Crit. Rev. Environ. Sci. Technol. 42(14), 1485–1508 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Aleluia, J., Ferrão, P.: Characterization of urban waste management practices in developing Asian countries: a new analytical framework based on waste characteristics and urban dimension. Waste Manage. 58, 415–429 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Levis, J.W., Barlaz, M.A.: What is the most environmentally beneficial way to treat commercial food waste? Environ. Sci. Technol. 45(17), 7438–7444 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kashyap, D.R., Dadhich, K.S., Sharma, S.K.: Biomethanization under psychrophilic conditions: a review. Bioresour. Technol. 87(2), 147–153 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Panaretou, V., Malamis, D., Papadaskalopoulou, C., Sotiropoulos, A., Valta, K., Plevri, A., Margaritis, M., Moustakas, K., Loizidou, M.: Implementation and evaluation of an integrated management scheme for MSW in selected communities in Tinos Island, Greece. Waste Biomass Valor. 8(5), 1597–1616 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Righi, S., Oliviero, L., Pedrini, M., Buscaroli, A., Della Casa, C.: Life cycle assessment of management systems for sewage sludge and food waste: centralized and decentralized approaches. J. Clean. Prod. 44, 8–17 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Finnveden, G., Johansson, J., Lind, P., Moberg, G.: Life cycle assessment of energy from solid waste part 1: general methodology and results. J. Clean Prod. 13(3), 213–229 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    De Vrieze, J., Raport, L., Willems, B., Verbrugge, S., Volcke, E., Meers, E., Angenent, L.T., Boon, N.: Inoculum selection influences the biochemical methane potential of agro-industrial substrates. Microb. Biotechnol. 8(5), 776–786 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Zhai, N., Zhang, T., Yin, D., Yang, G., Wang, X., Ren, G., Feng, Y.: Effect of initial pH on anaerobic co-digestion of kitchen waste and cow manure. Waste Manage. 38(1), 126–131 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kumar, M., Ou, Y.L., Lin, J.G.: Co-composting of green waste and food waste at low C/N ratio. Waste Manage. 30, 602–609 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    DuBois., M., Gilles, K.A., Rebers, H.J.K.. P.A. and Smith, F.: Colorimetric method for determination of sugars and related substances. Anal. Chem. 28(3), 350–356 (1956)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Krishna, D., Kalamdhad, A.S.: Pre-treatment and anaerobic digestion of food waste for high rate methane production—a review. J. Environ. Chem. Eng. 2(3), 1821–1830 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Li, Y., Jin, Y., Li, J., Li, H., Yu, Z.: Effects of pungency degree on mesophilic anaerobic digestion of kitchen waste. Appl. Energy. 181, 171–178 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Han, G., Shin, S.G., Lee, J., Lee, C., Jo, M., Hwang, S.: Mesophilic acidogenesis of food waste-recycling wastewater: effects of hydraulic retention time, pH, and temperature. Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol. 180(5), 980–999 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Zhang, L., Lee, Y.W., Jahng, D.: Anaerobic co-digestion of food waste and piggery wastewater: focusing on the role of trace elements. Bioresour. Technol. 102(8), 5048–5059 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Tian, H., Duan, N., Lin, C., Li, X., Zhong, M.: Anaerobic co-digestion of kitchen waste and pig manure with different mixing ratios. J. Biosci. Bioeng. 120(1), 51–57 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Rajagopal, R., Massé, D.I., Singh, G.: A critical review on inhibition of anaerobic digestion process by excess ammonia. Bioresour. Technol. 143, 632–641 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Zhang, R., El-Mashad, H.M., Hartman, K., Wang, F., Liu, G., Choate, C., Gamble, P.: Characterization of food waste as feedstock for anaerobic digestion. Bioresour. Technol. 98, 929–935 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Chen, Y., Cheng, J.J., Creamer, K.S.: Inhibition of anaerobic digestion process: a review. Bioresour. Technol. 99, 4044–4064 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Yenigün, O., Demirel, B.: Ammonia inhibition in anaerobic digestion: a review. Water Sci. Technol. 76(8), 1925–1938 (2013)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Massé, D.I., Masse, L., Croteau, F.: The effect of temperature fluctuations on psychrophilic anaerobic sequencing batch reactors treating swine manure. Bioresour. Technol. 89, 57–62 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Chiu, S.L.H., Lo, I.M.C.: Reviewing the anaerobic digestion and co-digestion process of food waste from the perspectives on biogas production performance and environmental impacts. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 23(24), 24435–24450 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Zhang, C., Su, H., Baeyens, J., Tan, T.: Reviewing the anaerobic digestion of food waste for biogas production. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 38, 383–392 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gu, Y., Chen, X., Liu, Z., Zhou, X., Zhang, Y.: Effect of inoculum sources on the anaerobic digestion of rice straw. Bioresour. Technol. 158, 149–155 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Liu, G., Zhang, R., El-Mashad, H.M., Dong, R.: Effect of feed to inoculum ratios on biogas yields of food and green wastes. Bioresour. Technol. 100, 5103–5108 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Heo, N.H., Park, S.C., Kang, H.: Effects of mixture ratio and hydraulic retention time on single-stage anaerobic co-digestion of food waste and waste activated sludge. J. Environ. Sci. Health Part A Toxic Hazard. Subst. Environ. Eng. 39(7), 1739–1756 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Paul, S., Dutta, A., Defersha, F., Dubey, B.: Municipal food waste to biomethane and biofertilizer: a circular economy concept. Waste Biomass Valoris. (2017). Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Neves, L., Oliveira, R., Alves, M.M.: Influence of inoculum activity on the bio-methanization of a kitchen waste under different waste/inoculum ratios. Process Biochem. 39, 2019–2024 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Saady, N.M.C., Massé, D.I.: A start-up of psychrophilic anaerobic sequence batch reactor digesting a 35% total solids feed of dairy manure and wheat straw. AMB Express. (2015). Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Akila, G., Chandra, T.S.: Performance of an UASB reactor treating synthetic wastewater at low-temperature using cold-adapted seed slurry. Process Biochem. 42, 466–471 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Babaee, A., Shayegan, J.: Effect of organic loading rates (OLR) on production of methane from anaerobic digestion of vegetables waste. In: World Renewable Energy Congress, 2011, Linköping, Sweden. Bioenergy Technology (BE), pp. 411–417. (2011)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Bouallagui, H., Haouari, O., Touhami, Y., Cheikh, B., Marouani, R., Hamdi, L.: M.: Effect of temperature on the performance of an anaerobic tubular reactor treating fruit and vegetable waste. Process Biochem. 39(12), 2143–2148 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Naik, L., Gebreegziabher, Z., Tumwesige, V., Balana, B.B., Mwirigi, J., Austin, G.: Factors determining the stability and productivity of small scale anaerobic digesters. Biomass Bioenergy. 70, 51–57 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Rajagopal, R., Bellavance, D., Rahaman, M.S.: Psychrophilic anaerobic digestion of semi-dry mixed municipal food waste: for North American context. Process Saf. Environ. Prot. 105, 101–108 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Massé, D.I., Masse, L., Xia, Y., Gilbert, Y.: Potential of low-temperature anaerobic digestion to address current environmental concerns on swine production. J. Anim. Sci. 88(13), 112–120 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Buysman, E., Mol, A.P.J.: Market-based biogas sector development in least developed countries—the case of Cambodia. Energ. Policy. 63, 44–51 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Bond, T., Templeton, M.R.: History and future of domestic biogas plants in the developing world. Energy Sustain. Dev. 15(4), 347–354 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de IngenieríaUniversidad Autónoma de ChileTalcaChile

Personalised recommendations