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Fermentative biohydrogen and biomethane co-production from mixture of food waste and sewage sludge: Effects of physiochemical properties and mix ratios on fermentation performance

Cheng, Jun, Ding, Lingkan, Lin, Richen, Yue, Liangchen, Liu, Jianzhong, Zhou, Junhu, Cen, Kefa
Applied energy 2016 v.184 pp. 1-8
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, anaerobic digestion, bioavailability, biogas, biohydrogen, carbon, carbon nitrogen ratio, energy conversion, fermentation, food waste, gelatinization, hydrogen production, hydrolysis, physicochemical properties, scanning electron microscopy, sewage sludge, China
The accumulation of increasingly generated food waste and sewage sludge is currently a heavy burden on environment in China. In this study, the physiochemical properties of food waste and sewage sludge were identified using scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to investigate the effects on the fermentation performance in the co-fermentation of food waste and sewage sludge for biohydrogen production. The high gelatinized organic components in food waste, the enhanced bioaccessibility due to the dilution of mineral compounds in sewage sludge, and the balanced C/N ratio synergistically improved the fermentative biohydrogen production through the co-fermentation of food waste and sewage sludge at a volatile solids (VS) mix ratio of 3:1. The biohydrogen yield of 174.6mL/gVS was 49.9% higher than the weighted average calculated from mono-fermentation of food waste and sewage sludge. Co-fermentation also strengthened the hydrolysis and acidogenesis of the mixture, resulting in a total carbon conversion efficiency of 63.3% and an energy conversion efficiency of 56.6% during biohydrogen production. After the second-stage anaerobic digestion of hydrogenogenic effluent, the energy yield from the mixed food waste and sewage sludge significantly increased from 1.9kJ/gVS in the first-stage biohydrogen production to 11.3kJ/gVS in the two-stage fermentative biohydrogen and biomethane co-production.