Anaerobic digestion of solid waste in RAS: Effect of reactor type on the biochemical acidogenic potential (BAP) and assessment of the biochemical methane potential (BMP) by a batch assay

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Anaerobic digestion is a way to utilize the potential energy contained in solid waste produced in recirculating aquaculture systems (RASs), either by providing acidogenic products for driving heterotrophic denitrification on site or by directly producing combustive methane. In this study the biochemical acidogenic potential of solid waste from juvenile rainbow trout was evaluated by
measuring the yield of volatile fatty acids (VFA) during anaerobic digestion by batch or fed-batch reactor operation at hydrolysis time (HT) / hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 1, 5, or 10 days (and for batch additional 14 and 20 days) in continuously stirred tank reactors. Generally, the VFA yield increased with time and no effect of the reactor type used was found within the time frame of the
experiment. At 10 days HT or 10 days HRT the VFA yield reached 222.3 ± 30.5 and 203.4 ± 11.2 mg VFA g-1 TVS0 (total volatile solids at day 0) in batch and fed-batch reactor, respectively. For the fedbatch reactor, increasing HRT from 5 to 10 days gained no significant additional VFA yield. Prolonging the batch reactor experiment to 20 days increased VFA production further (273.9 ± 1.6 mg VFA g-1 TVS0, n=2). After 10 days HT / HRT, 16.8 - 23.5 % of total Kjeldahl N was found as TAN and 44.3 - 53.0 % of total P was found as ortho-phosphate. A significant difference between reactor types was detected for the phosphorous dissolution at 5 days HT / HRT as a relatively steep increase (of a factor 2-3) in
ortho-P content occurred in fed-batch reactors but similar steep increase was only notable after 10 days HT for batch reactors. No differences between reactor types at the other HT / HRT were recorded for P as well as (for all HT / HRT for) N. Based on this study a HRT of approximately 5 days would be recommended for the design of an acidogenic continuously stirred reactor tank in a RAS single-sludge denitrification set-up. The biochemical methane potential of the sludge was estimated to 318 ± 29 g CH4 g-1 TVS0 by a batch assay and represented a higher utility of the solid waste when comparing the methane yield with the VFA yield (in COD units). This points towards a technological challenge of ultimately increase the acidogenic output to match the methane yield as both products are formed from the same reference point
Original languageEnglish
JournalAquacultural Engineering
Pages (from-to)65-71
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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