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A pilot-scale comparison of mesophilic and thermophilic digestion of source segregated domestic food waste

A pilot-scale comparison of mesophilic and thermophilic digestion of source segregated domestic food waste
A pilot-scale comparison of mesophilic and thermophilic digestion of source segregated domestic food waste
Source segregated food waste was collected from domestic properties and its composition determined together with the average weight produced per household, which was 2.91 kg per week. The waste was fed over a trial period lasting 58 weeks to an identical pair of 1.5 m3 anaerobic digesters, one at a mesophilic (36.5°C) and the other at a thermophilic temperature (56°C). The digesters were monitored daily for gas production, solids destruction and regularly for digestate characteristics including alkalinity, pH, volatile fatty acid (VFA) and ammonia concentrations. Both digesters showed high VFA and ammonia concentrations but in the mesophilic digester the pH remained stable at around 7.4, buffered by a high alkalinity of 13,000 mg l-1; whereas in the thermophilic digester VFA levels reached 45,000 mg l-1 causing a drop in pH and digester instability. In the mesophilic digester volatile solids (VS) destruction and specific gas yield were favourable, with 67% of the organic solids being converted to biogas at a methane content of 58% giving a biogas yield of 0.63 m3 kg-1 VSadded. Digestion under thermophilic conditions showed potentially better VS destruction at 70% VS and a biogas yield of 0.67 m3 kg-1 VSadded, but the shifts in alkalinity and the high VFA concentrations required a reduced loading to be applied. The maximum beneficial loading that could be achieved in the mesophilic digester was 4.0 kg VS m-3 d-1.
food waste, kitchen waste, mesophilic, thermophilic, volatile fatty acids
0273-1223
1475-1481
Banks, Charles J.
5c6c8c4b-5b25-4e37-9058-50fa8d2e926f
Chesshire, Michael
b2918637-7c74-483a-b696-62100fd450d0
Stringfellow, Anne
024efba8-7ffc-441e-a268-be43240990a9
Banks, Charles J.
5c6c8c4b-5b25-4e37-9058-50fa8d2e926f
Chesshire, Michael
b2918637-7c74-483a-b696-62100fd450d0
Stringfellow, Anne
024efba8-7ffc-441e-a268-be43240990a9

Banks, Charles J., Chesshire, Michael and Stringfellow, Anne (2008) A pilot-scale comparison of mesophilic and thermophilic digestion of source segregated domestic food waste. Water Science & Technology, 58 (7), 1475-1481. (doi:10.2166/wst.2008.513). (PMID:18957762)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Source segregated food waste was collected from domestic properties and its composition determined together with the average weight produced per household, which was 2.91 kg per week. The waste was fed over a trial period lasting 58 weeks to an identical pair of 1.5 m3 anaerobic digesters, one at a mesophilic (36.5°C) and the other at a thermophilic temperature (56°C). The digesters were monitored daily for gas production, solids destruction and regularly for digestate characteristics including alkalinity, pH, volatile fatty acid (VFA) and ammonia concentrations. Both digesters showed high VFA and ammonia concentrations but in the mesophilic digester the pH remained stable at around 7.4, buffered by a high alkalinity of 13,000 mg l-1; whereas in the thermophilic digester VFA levels reached 45,000 mg l-1 causing a drop in pH and digester instability. In the mesophilic digester volatile solids (VS) destruction and specific gas yield were favourable, with 67% of the organic solids being converted to biogas at a methane content of 58% giving a biogas yield of 0.63 m3 kg-1 VSadded. Digestion under thermophilic conditions showed potentially better VS destruction at 70% VS and a biogas yield of 0.67 m3 kg-1 VSadded, but the shifts in alkalinity and the high VFA concentrations required a reduced loading to be applied. The maximum beneficial loading that could be achieved in the mesophilic digester was 4.0 kg VS m-3 d-1.

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More information

Published date: July 2008
Keywords: food waste, kitchen waste, mesophilic, thermophilic, volatile fatty acids

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 74253
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/74253
ISSN: 0273-1223
PURE UUID: 44755de5-4b79-45ce-b939-7f9c1c555657
ORCID for Anne Stringfellow: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8873-0010

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Mar 2010
Last modified: 05 Nov 2019 01:56

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