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Thermophilic anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge: focus on the influence of the start-up. A review.

Authors
  • De la Rubia, M A
  • Riau, V
  • Raposo, F
  • Borja, R
Type
Published Article
Journal
Critical reviews in biotechnology
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2013
Volume
33
Issue
4
Pages
448–460
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3109/07388551.2012.726962
PMID: 23110727
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The thermophilic anaerobic digestion (TAD) of sewage sludge has often been found to be less stable than mesophilic treatment. In comparison to mesophilic digesters, thermophilic reactors treating sludge are generally characterized by relatively high concentrations of volatile fatty acids (VFA) in the effluent along with poor effluent quality, indicating a lower level of process stability. However, reviewing the literature related to the procedure for obtaining a thermophilic inoculum, it seems that most of the problems associated with the instability and the accumulation of organic intermediates are the result of the manner in which the thermophilic sludge has been obtained. In this paper, the different options available for obtaining an anaerobic digester operating at thermophilic temperature (55°C) have been reviewed. In this light, rapid heating to the target temperature followed by the development of thermophilic microorganisms, which can be determined by VFA dropping to ≤ 500 mg acetic acid L(-1) before increasing the organic loading rate (OLR), has been determined the most suitable means of establishing TAD.

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