From mesophilic to thermophilic conditions: one-step temperature increase improves the methane production of a granular sludge treating agroindustrial effluents
To assess the effect of one-step temperature increase, from 35 to 55 °C, on the methane production of a mesophilic granular sludge (MGS) treating wine vinasses and the effluent of a hydrogenogenic upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor.
One-step temperature increase from mesophilic to thermophilic conditions improved methane production regardless of the substrate tested. The biomethane potentials obtained under thermophilic conditions were 1.8–2.9 times higher than those obtained under mesophilic conditions. The MGS also performed better than an acclimated thermophilic digestate, producing 2.2–2.5 times more methane than the digestate under thermophilic conditions. Increasing the temperature from 35 to 55 °C also improved the methane production rate of the MGS (up to 9.4 times faster) and reduced the lag time (up to 1.9 times). Although the temperature increase mediated a decrease in the size of the sludge granules, no negative effects on the performance of the MGS was observed under thermophilic conditions.
More methane is obtained from real agroindustrial effluents at thermophilic conditions than under mesophilic conditions. One-step temperature increase (instead of progressive sequential increases) can be used to implement the thermophilic anaerobic digestion processes with MGS.
KeywordsAnaerobic digestion Biokinetic parameters Biomethane potential Granular sludge Thermophilic conditions
This work was supported by “Fondo de Sustentabilidad Energética CONACYT – SENER (Mexico)”, through the project Mexican Bioenergy Innovation Centre, Bioalcohols Cluster (249564). The authors thank the technical support of Jaime Pérez. G. Quijano acknowledges the support from CONACYT through the CÁTEDRAS program (Researcher ID 1535, Project 265).
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