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Activated carbon promotes short-chain fatty acids production from algae during anaerobic fermentation

Xie, Jing, Chen, Yunzhi, Duan, Xu, Feng, Leiyu, Yan, Yuanyuan, Wang, Feng, Zhang, Xianzhong, Zhang, Zhenguang, Zhou, Qi
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.658 pp. 1131-1138
activated carbon, algae, bacteria, carbohydrates, chemical oxygen demand, electron transfer, fermentation, genes, hydrolases, hydrolysis, pH, proteins, short chain fatty acids, solubilization
Alkaline pH was beneficial for short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) production from algae during anaerobic fermentation. This study focused on the effects of activated carbon on SCFAs production from algae during alkaline anaerobic fermentation. When activated carbon was present at 0.5 g/L, the maximum production of SCFAs was 4875 mg COD/L, which was nearly 2.4 times that of the control (2026 mg/L). Moreover, the fermentation time required for the highest SCFAs production was shortened from 6 d in the control to 4 d with activated carbon. Mechanism exploration revealed that solubilization and hydrolysis of algae as well as activities of key hydrolases and quantities of encoding genes were improved in the presence of activated carbon, which provided more proteins and carbohydrates for acid-forming bacteria. More importantly, the electron transfer among microorganisms in the algae fermentation systems was enhanced by activated carbon, contributing to improvement of the SCFAs yield and reduction of fermentation time.