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Anaerobic accumulation of short-chain fatty acids from algae enhanced by damaging cell structure and promoting hydrolase activity

Feng, Leiyu, Chen, Yunzhi, Chen, Xutao, Duan, Xu, Xie, Jing, Chen, Yinguang
Bioresource technology 2018 v.250 pp. 777-783
algae, cell structures, chemical oxygen demand, enzyme activity, fermentation, hydrolases, hydrolysis, microcystins, microorganisms, pH, short chain fatty acids
Short-chain fatty acid (SCFAs) produced from harvested algae by anaerobic fermentation with uncontrolled pH was limited due to the solid cell structure of algae. This study, therefore, was undertaken to enhance the generation of SCFAs from algae by controlling the fermentation pH. pH influenced not only the total SCFAs production, but the percentage of individual SCFA. The maximal yield of SCFAs occurred at pH 10.0 and fermentation time of 6 d (3161 mg COD/L), which mainly contained acetic and iso-valeric acids and was nearly eight times that at uncontrolled pH (392 mg COD/L). Mechanism exploration revealed at alkaline pH, especially at pH 10.0, not only the cell structure of algae was damaged effectively, but also activities and relative quantification of hydrolases as well as the abundance of microorganisms responsible for organics hydrolysis and SCFAs production were improved. Also, the released microcystins from algae were removed efficiently during alkaline anaerobic fermentation.