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Alkaline aided thermophiles pretreatment of waste activated sludge to increase short chain fatty acids production: Microbial community evolution by alkaline on hydrolysis and fermentation

Chun-Xue Yang, Shuai Zhao, Ze-Chong Guo, Wen-Zong Liu, Ling Wang, Shao-Peng Yu, Bao-Ling Liu, Xue Cong
Environmental research 2020 v.186 pp. 109503
Acidobacteria, Caloramator, acidification, activated sludge, chemical oxygen demand, fermentation, heat tolerance, hydrolysis, microbial communities, proteins, proteolysis, short chain fatty acids, thermophilic bacteria
Adding alkaline into an anaerobic waste activated sludge (WAS) fermentation with thermophilic bacteria pretreatment could efficiently improve short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) accumulation to 3550 ± 120 mg COD/L. The acidification rate in combined test was 21.2%, while that was 15.6% and 10.7% in sole thermophilic bacteria pretreatment and control tests respectively. Four distinct groups of microbes could be identified with noticeable shifts using the combined pretreatments, and tremendous effects were analyzed on organic content especially of the soluble proteins and SCFAs concentrations. Particularly, alkaline addition would significantly change the functional microbial structures, including the decrease of Caloramator with the function of thermophilic proteolytic and the increase of Acidobacteria TM7 and Petrimonas sp. The results above suggested that alkaline addition could decrease the hydrolytic substances consume by thermotolerance bacteria and final improve SCFAs accumulation in fermentation process.