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Application of a rotating impeller anode in a bioelectrochemical anaerobic digestion reactor for methane production from high-strength food waste

Park, Jungyu, Lee, Beom, Shin, Wonbeom, Jo, Sangyeol, Jun, Hangbae
Bioresource technology 2018 v.259 pp. 423-432
anaerobic digestion, anodes, chemical oxygen demand, electric power, energy efficiency, food waste, hydrogen, impellers, methane, methane production, methanogens, pH, population density, volatile fatty acids
In this study, a practical bioelectrochemical anaerobic digestion (BEAD) reactor equipped with a rotating STS304 impeller was tested to verify its methane production performance. Methane production in the BEAD reactor was possible without accumulation of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and decreases in pH at high organic loading rates (OLRs) up to 6 kg-COD/m3·d (COD: chemical oxygen demand). Methane production in a BEAD-O (open circuit) reactor was inhibited at OLRs above 4 kg-COD/m3·d; however, the performance could be recovered bioelectrochemically by supplying voltage. The population density of hydrogenotrophic methanogens increased to 73.3% in the BEAD-C (closed circuit) reactor, even at high OLRs, through the removal of VFAs and conversion of hydrogen to methane. The energy efficiency in the BEAD-C reactor was 85.6%, indicating that the commercialization of BEAD reactors equipped with rotating STS304 impeller electrodes is possible.