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Improving the co-digestion performance of waste activated sludge and wheat straw through ratio optimization and ferroferric oxide supplementation

Zhao, Zisheng, Li, Yang, Quan, Xie, Zhang, Yaobin
Bioresource technology 2018 v.267 pp. 591-598
activated sludge, anaerobic digestion, bacteria, carbon nitrogen ratio, iron oxides, methane production, pH, propionic acid, volatile fatty acids, wheat straw
Low anaerobic digestion efficiency of wheat straw (WS) has been an intractable problem owing to its high C/N ratio and complex structure. In this study, co-digestion of WS and waste activated sludge (WAS) at different ratios was performed to identify conditions that would elevate the acidic pH and increase methane production. The results showed that using a 1:1 ratio of WS and WAS, methane production in the co-digester was 26.9% higher than the sum of equal WAS and WS mono-digestion. When Fe3O4 was added to the co-digester, the acidic pH was further relieved and the anaerobic digestion efficiency was additionally enhanced. Microbial analysis showed that the ethanol-type fermentative bacterial genus Ethanoligenens was enriched in the WAS + WS-Fe3O4 reactor, in which the production of propionate was notably reduced, indicating that Fe3O4 could prevent the accumulation of volatile fatty acids by changing the types of fermentative bacteria present and promote anaerobic digestion efficiency.