Borja, R., Rincón, B., Raposo, F., Domínguez, J.R., Millán, F. and Martín, A.
Mesophilic anaerobic digestion in a fluidised-bed reactor of wastewater from the production of protein isolates from chickpea flour
Process Biochemistry, 39, (12), . (doi:10.1016/j.procbio.2003.09.022).
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A study of the anaerobic digestion of wastewater derived from the production of protein isolates from chickpea flour was carried out in a laboratory-scale, mesophilic (35 °C) fluidised-bed reactor with saponite as bacterial support. Soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD) removal efficiencies in the range of 96.8–85.2% were achieved in the reactor at organic loading rates (OLR) of between 0.58 and 2.10 g chemical oxygen demand (COD)/l per day, hydraulic retention times (HRT) of between 14.9 and 4.5 days and average feed COD concentration of 9.1 g/l. Eighty-five percent of feed COD could be removed up to OLR of 2.1 g COD/l per day. The yield coefficient of methane production was 0.34 l of methane (at STP) per gram COD removed and was virtually independent of the OLR applied. Because the buffering capacity of the experimental system was maintained at favourable levels with excess total alkalinity present at all loadings, the rate of methanogenesis was not affected by loading. Experimental data indicated that a total alkalinity in the range of 1090–2130 mg/l as CaCO3 was sufficient to prevent the pH from decreasing to below 7.2 for OLR of up to 2.7 g COD/l per day. The volatile fatty acid (VFA) levels and the VFA/alkalinity ratio were lower than the suggested limits for digester failure (0.3–0.4) for OLR and HRT up to 2.7 g COD/l per day and 3.5 days, respectively. For a HRT of 2.8 days (OLR of 3.00 g COD/l per day) the start of acidification was observed in the reactor.
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