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Anaerobic digestion of high strength acidic whey in a ph controlled up flow fixed film loop reactor

Anaerobic digestion of high strength acidic whey in a ph controlled up flow fixed film loop reactor

Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology 22(5): 367-372

A fixed film loop reactor was developed for the stabilization of undiluted sour whey. Porous clay beads were used to immobilize the population. The fermentation system was self-supporting with the aid of a pH-titrator. Within 2 months; the loading increased automatically to its maximum of 14 kg COD (chemical oxygen demand)/m3 per day. Parallel to this, the bacterial film was formed on the surface of the support material. For a pH of 6.7 the steady state was reached at a hydraulic retention time of 5 days (equivalent to a loading of 14 kg COD/m3 per day). An amount of 5.6 m3 biogas was produced per m3 digester content and day and the COD-reduction was 95%. The pH-controlled whey addition led to only minor disturbances when overloading or oxygenation occurred and a fast recovery of methanogenesis was observed. The economics of anaerobic whey digestion compared with conventional whey utilization is estimated by a simple cost/benefit calculation.

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Accession: 004735948

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DOI: 10.1007/bf00582422

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