Startup of Demo-Scale Anaerobic Digestion Plant Treating Food Waste Leachate: Process Instability and Recovery
- Startup of Demo-Scale Anaerobic Digestion Plant Treating Food Waste Leachate: Process Instability and Recovery
- Shin, Seung Gu; Kim, Su In; Hwang, Seokhwan
- Date Issued
- A demo-scale (600 m(3) working volume) anaerobic digester treating food waste leachate was monitored during its startup period. The operation strategy was adjusted twice (i.e., three distinct phases) during the operation to recover the process from instability. During the first phase, the organic loading rate (OLR) > 2.7 kg chemical oxygen demand (COD)/m(3)center dot day corresponded to volatile fatty acid (VFA) accumulation along with a decreasing pH, resulting in the drop in biogas yield to 0.43 +/- 0.9 m(3)/kg CODin. During phase 2, fast recovery of this process was aimed at using a sequencing batch operation. One batch cycle (5 to 2 days) consisted of the combined drawing and feeding step (5 h), the reacting step (91 to 17 h), and the settling step (24 h). The duration of the reacting step was determined for each cycle such that (1) the biogas production ceased before the cycle end and (2) the residual VFA concentration was < 1 g/L. In total, 11 cycles were operated with a gradual increase in biogas yield to 0.55 m(3)/kg CODin with the absence of any sign of system disturbance. After phase 2, the digester was fed at the designed OLR of 4.1 +/- 0.3 kg COD/m(3)center dot day. The biogas yield was elevated to 0.58 +/- 0.2 m(3)/kg CODin during phase 3 with the residual VFA concentration maintained at 2.2 +/- 0.6 g/L. Methanogen populations, as determined by real-time PCR, did not change significantly throughout the period. These results imply that the adaptation of this process to the OLR of ca. 4 kg COD/m(3)center dot day was not due to the increase in methanogen population but due to the elevation of its activity. Overall, this study suggests that the sequencing batch operation with adjustable cycle duration can be one successful recovery strategy for biogas plants under system instability.
- Article Type
- INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH, vol. 19, no. 11, 2022-06
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