Inoculum Source Determines Acetate and Lactate Production during Anaerobic Digestion of Sewage Sludge and Food Waste.
ABSTRACT: Acetate production from food waste or sewage sludge was evaluated in four semi-continuous anaerobic digestion processes. To examine the importance of inoculum and substrate for acid production, two different inoculum sources (a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and a co-digestion plant treating food and industry waste) and two common substrates (sewage sludge and food waste) were used in process operations. The processes were evaluated with regard to the efficiency of hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis, and methanogenesis and the microbial community structure was determined. Feeding sewage sludge led to mixed acid fermentation and low total acid yield, whereas feeding food waste resulted in the production of high acetate and lactate yields. Inoculum from WWTP with sewage sludge substrate resulted in maintained methane production, despite a low hydraulic retention time. For food waste, the process using inoculum from WWTP produced high levels of lactate (30 g/L) and acetate (10 g/L), while the process initiated with inoculum from the co-digestion plant had higher acetate (25 g/L) and lower lactate (15 g/L) levels. The microbial communities developed during acid production consisted of the major genera Lactobacillus (92-100%) with food waste substrate, and Roseburia (44-45%) and Fastidiosipila (16-36%) with sewage sludge substrate. Use of the outgoing material (hydrolysates) in a biogas production system resulted in a non-significant increase in bio-methane production (+5-20%) compared with direct biogas production from food waste and sewage sludge.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat in veterinary medicine and human healthcare. Resistance genes can spread from animals, through the food-chain, and back to humans. Sewage sludge may act as the link back from humans to animals. The main aims of this study were to investigate the occurrence of vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) in treated sewage sludge, in a Swedish waste water treatment plant (WWTP), and to compare VRE isolates from sewage sludge with isolates from humans and chickens. METHODS: During a four month long study, sewage sludge was collected weekly and cultured for VRE. The VRE isolates from sewage sludge were analysed and compared to each other and to human and chicken VRE isolates by biochemical typing (PhenePlate), PFGE and antibiograms. RESULTS: Biochemical typing (PhenePlate-FS) and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) revealed prevalence of specific VRE strains in sewage sludge for up to 16 weeks. No connection was found between the VRE strains isolated from sludge, chickens and humans, indicating that human VRE did not originate from Swedish chicken. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated widespread occurrence of VRE in sewage sludge in the studied WWTP. This implies a risk of antimicrobial resistance being spread to new farms and to the society via the environment if the sewage sludge is used on arable land.
Project description:High-solid anaerobic digestion is an attractive solution to the problem of sewage sludge disposal. One method that can be used to enhance the production of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and the generation of methane from anaerobic digestion involves combining an alkaline pretreatment step with the synergistic effects of sewage sludge and cattle manure co-digestion, which improves the activity of key enzymes and microorganisms in the anaerobic co-digestion system to promote the digestion of organic waste. In this study, we describe an efficient strategy that involves adjusting the volatile solid (VS) ratio (sewage sludge/cattle manure: 3/7) and initial pH (9.0) to improve VFA production and methane generation from the co-digestion of sludge and manure. The experimental results indicate that the maximum VFA production was 98.33?g/kg-TS (total solid) at the optimal conditions. Furthermore, methane generation in a long-term semi-continuously operated reactor (at a VS ratio of 3/7 and pH of 9.0) was greater than 120.0?L/kg-TS.
2016-01-01 | S-EPMC5057105 | BioStudies
Project description:Combined acetate, lactate and biogas production from food waste or sewage sludge using different inoculum sources
Project description:The US annually produces 79 million dry tons of liquid organic waste including sewage sludge. Anaerobic digestion can only reduce the sludge volume by 50% in mass, leaving the other half as a growing waste management and hygienic problem. Hydrothermal processing (HTP), a set of several chemical digestion processes, could be used to convert sewage sludge into valuable products and minimize potential environmental pollution risks. Specifically, hydrothermal carbonization and hydrothermal liquefaction have been extensively studied to sustainably manage sludge. Two of the main reasons for this are the high upscalability of HTP for public waste management and that it is estimated that HTP can recover eleven times more energy from waste products than landfilling. An integration of HTP with anaerobic digestion or recycling the soluble organics (in the HTP aqueous products) into the HTP process could lead to a higher overall rate of energy recovery for municipal sewage sludge.
Project description:Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a widespread microbial technology used to treat organic waste and recover energy in the form of methane ("biogas"). While most AD systems have been designed to treat a single input, mixtures of digester sludge and solid organic waste are emerging as a means to improve efficiency and methane yield. We examined laboratory anaerobic cultures of AD sludge from two sources amended with food waste, xylose, and xylan at mesophilic temperatures, and with cellulose at meso- and thermophilic temperatures, to determine whether and how the inoculum and substrate affect biogas yield and community composition. All substrate and inoculum combinations yielded methane, with food waste most productive by mass. Pyrosequencing of transcribed bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA showed that community composition varied across substrates and inocula, with differing ratios of hydrogenotrophic/acetoclastic methanogenic archaea associated with syntrophic partners. While communities did not cluster by either inoculum or substrate, additional sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene in the source sludge revealed that the bacterial communities were influenced by their inoculum. These results suggest that complete and efficient AD systems could potentially be assembled from different microbial inocula and consist of taxonomically diverse communities that nevertheless perform similar functions.
Project description:Anaerobic sludge digestion is the main technology for sludge reduction and stabilization prior to sludge disposal. Nevertheless, methane production from anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) is often restricted by the poor biochemical methane potential and slow hydrolysis rate of WAS. This work systematically investigated the effect of PHA levels of WAS on anaerobic methane production, using both experimental and mathematical modeling approaches. Biochemical methane potential tests showed that methane production increased with increased PHA levels in WAS. Model-based analysis suggested that the PHA-based method enhanced methane production by improving biochemical methane potential of WAS, with the highest enhancement being around 40% (from 192 to 274 L CH4/kg VS added; VS: volatile solid) when the PHA levels increased from 21 to 143 mg/g VS. In contrast, the hydrolysis rate (approximately 0.10 d(-1)) was not significantly affected by the PHA levels. Economic analysis suggested that the PHA-based method could save $1.2/PE/y (PE: population equivalent) in a typical wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The PHA-based method can be easily integrated into the current WWTP to enhance methane production, thereby providing a strong support to the on-going paradigm shift in wastewater management from pollutant removal to resource recovery.
Project description:Background:With the increasing global population and increasing demand for food, the generation of food waste and animal manure increases. Anaerobic digestion is one of the best available technologies for food waste and pig manure management by producing methane-rich biogas. Dry co-digestion of food waste and pig manure can significantly reduce the reactor volume, capital cost, heating energy consumption and the cost of digestate liquid management. It is advantageous over mono-digestion of food waste or pig manure due to the balanced carbon/nitrogen ratio, high pH buffering capacity, and provision of trace elements. However, few studies have been carried out to study the roles of and interactions among microbes in dry anaerobic co-digestion systems. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the effects of different inocula (finished digestate and anaerobic sludge taken from wastewater treatment plants) and substrate compositions (food waste to pig manure ratios of 50:50 and 75:25 in terms of volatile solids) on the microbial community structure in food waste and pig manure dry co-digestion systems, and to examine the possible roles of the previously poorly described bacteria and the interactions among dry co-digestion-associated microbes. Results:The dry co-digestion experiment lasted for 120 days. The microbial profile during different anaerobic digestion stages was explored using high-throughput 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. It was found that the inoculum factor was more significant in determining the microbial community structure than the substrate composition factor. Significant correlation was observed between the relative abundance of specific microbial taxa and digesters' physicochemical parameters. Hydrogenotrophic methanogens dominated in dry co-digestion systems. Conclusions:The possible roles of specific microbial taxa were explored by correlation analysis, which were consistent with the literature. Based on this, the anaerobic digestion-associated roles of 11 bacteria, which were previously poorly understood, were estimated here for the first time. The inoculum played a more important role in determining the microbial community structure than substrate composition in dry co-digestion systems. Hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis was a significant methane production pathway in dry co-digestion systems.
Project description:The dataset reported in this article provides quantitative data on anaerobic digestion of cattle manure, source separated organics (SSO), primary sludge (PS), and thickened waste activated sludge (TWAS) using different inoculum sources. The discussion and interpretation of the data are provided in another publication entitled "Comparison of liquid and dewatered digestate as inoculum for anaerobic digestion of organic solid wastes" . The data presented in this article include 1) the gas chromatography (GC) procedure of determining the biogas composition, 2) the procedure of converting the daily biogas/methane production data from the experimental condition (mesophilic temperature of 38 °C and room pressure) to the standard temperature (0 °C) and pressure (1 atm) condition, 3) the specific methanogenic activity data, and 4) the methane daily production rate data, and 5) the organics biodegradation kinetic rates.
Project description:This paper presents data collected from a survey on sewage sludge treatment and disposal routes originated from activated sludge water treatment in France. The data of 3,679 wastewater treatment plants - representing 52% of WWTP using activated sludge and 69% of sludge disposed by these WWTP - were collected from several French organisms such as SATESE (technical support for wastewater treatment plants), water supply agencies, internal service of agricultural Chambers and public administrations in 71 French departments. The survey allows a detailed description of the processes used for sewage sludge treatment (i.e. thickening, dewatering, stabilization, drying) as well as the type of disposal routes (i.e. land application, incineration, landfill.) and the related amount of sewage sludge disposed in dry matter tons. The data are provided in a raw and analyzed form within the Excel file provided with this article.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Recently, it has been indicated that anaerobic co-digestion of waste activated sludge with other waste streams at wastewater treatment plants is a promising strategy for enhancing methane production and materials recovery. The enhanced methane production can be used as a renewable source of energy in wastewater treatment plants. It can also reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emission in landfilling of the waste streams. RESULTS:According to the results obtained in this study, anaerobic co-digestion of waste activated sludge with mixed fruit waste and cheese whey improves methane production and the quality of digested sludge in comparison to the anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge individually. It was indicated that carbon/nitrogen ratio (C/N) in the mixture of waste activated sludge, fruit waste and cheese whey improved considerably, leading to better anaerobic organisms' activity during digestion. With assessing the activity of protease and cellulase, as the main enzymes hydrolyzing organic matter in anaerobic digestion, it was indicated that co-digestion of waste activated sludge with mixed fruit waste and cheese whey enhances the activity of these enzymes by 22 and 9% respectively. At the end of digestion, the amount of cumulative methane production significantly increased by 31% in the reactor with 85% waste activated sludge and 15% mixed fruit waste and cheese whey, compared to the reactor with 100% waste activated sludge. In addition, chemical oxygen demand (COD) and volatile solid (VS) in digested sludge was improved respectively by 9 and 7% when mixed fruit waste and cheese whey was used. CONCLUSIONS:This study revealed that mixed fruit waste and cheese whey is potentially applicable to anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge, as fruit waste and cheese whey have high C/N ratio that enhance low C/N in waste activated sludge and provide a better diet for anaerobic organisms. This is of significant importance because not only could higher amount of renewable energy be generated from the enhanced methane production in wastewater treatment plants, but also capital costs of the companies whose waste streams are being transported to wastewater treatments plants could be reduced considerably.