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04.07.2019 | Original Research Open Access

Continuous two-step anaerobic digestion (TSAD) of organic market waste: rationalising process parameters

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Energy and Environmental Engineering
Autoren:
Carlos Enrique Gómez Camacho, Bernardo Ruggeri, Lorenzo Mangialardi, Marco Persico, Andrea Cristina Luongo Malavé
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Abstract

Experimental tests on continuous two-stage anaerobic digestion (TSAD) were conducted, to assess its energetic performance, using organic market waste as a substrate. The systems were tested to ascertain the effects of external stressors, which allow the separation into two different microorganism consortia, that is, hydrogen-producing bacteria and hydrogen-consuming bacteria, to be maintained. Two bioreactors were run in series under different operational conditions, including pH, mixing rate, and initial inoculum, and three different decreasing hydraulic retention times were considered, with a fixed ratio of 1:10 in volume between the first bioreactor (hydrogen) and the second one (methane). The performance of the whole system was assessed over > 140 days to monitor the stability of the process, in terms of the reduction of the volatile solids and the energy productivity for each step. Each tested condition was scored using two parameters: efficiency and efficacy. The first corresponds to the fraction of recovered energy of the available (η) and the second (ξ) was used to compare the energy produced by the TSAD with that of one-step anaerobic digestion. The efficiency resulted to be (24–32)%, while the efficacy proved to be around 1.20. The share of energy, under the form of hydrogen, compared to the total energy recovery, was in the (8–12) % range. Finally, the oscillation behaviour of the quasi-steady-state condition was analysed in terms of the Fano factor to establish the most stable conditions.

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