The performances of anaerobic sequencing batch reactors fed with two different substrates were studied. The substrates were raw acid whey and acid whey fermented with Kluyveromyces lactis in order to investigate the suitability of ethanol for biogas production. The organic loading rates (OLRs) during the experiment ranged from 1.6 to 12.8 g COD dm-3 d-1 and the corresponding decreasing hydraulic retention times from 40 to 5 days for both reactor systems. The efficiency of each system depended on the OLR: the highest COD removal rate was observed at the lowest OLR applied (about 100% in both systems), and at maximum OLR the COD removal efficiency was 68% for the reactors fed with the raw whey and 80% for those fed with the pre-fermented whey. Under the same high OLR conditions the methane yield was 0.122 dm-3 CH4 g-1 CODdegraded for the anaerobic digesters fed with the untreated whey, and 0.197 dm-3 CH4 g-1 CODdegraded for those fed with the pre-fermented whey. The digesters functioned without pH control. At the maximum OLR the pH in the reactors fed with the raw acid whey was 5.1, while in those fed with the pre-fermented whey it was 7.15. The results demonstrate that the use of the pre-fermented acid whey as substrate for anaerobic digestion without pH control is feasible, especially at high OLR levels. This substrate is preferable to the raw acid whey, because of the ethanol formed as a non-acidic fermentation product of the yeast.
- Acid whey
- Anaerobic fermentation
- Anaerobic sequencing batch reactor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment