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Title: Single-phase and two-phase anaerobic digestion of fruit and vegetable waste: Comparison of start-up, reactor stability and process performance

Highlights: • Single-phase and two-phase systems were compared for fruit and vegetable waste digestion. • Single-phase digestion produced a methane yield of 0.45 m{sup 3} CH{sub 4}/kg VS and 83% VS removal. • Substrate solubilization was high in acidification conditions at 7.0 kg VS/m{sup 3} d and pH 5.5–6.2. • Energy yield was lower by 33% for two-phase system compared to the single-phase system. • Simple and straight-forward operation favored single phase process over two-phase process. - Abstract: Single-phase and two-phase digestion of fruit and vegetable waste were studied to compare reactor start-up, reactor stability and performance (methane yield, volatile solids reduction and energy yield). The single-phase reactor (SPR) was a conventional reactor operated at a low loading rate (maximum of 3.5 kg VS/m{sup 3} d), while the two-phase system consisted of an acidification reactor (TPAR) and a methanogenic reactor (TPMR). The TPAR was inoculated with methanogenic sludge similar to the SPR, but was operated with step-wise increase in the loading rate and with total recirculation of reactor solids to convert it into acidification sludge. Before each feeding, part of the sludge from TPAR was centrifuged, the centrifuge liquid (solubilized products) was fed to the TPMR and centrifuged solids weremore » recycled back to the reactor. Single-phase digestion produced a methane yield of 0.45 m{sup 3} CH{sub 4}/kg VS fed and VS removal of 83%. The TPAR shifted to acidification mode at an OLR of 10.0 kg VS/m{sup 3} d and then achieved stable performance at 7.0 kg VS/m{sup 3} d and pH 5.5–6.2, with very high substrate solubilization rate and a methane yield of 0.30 m{sup 3} CH{sub 4}/kg COD fed. The two-phase process was capable of high VS reduction, but material and energy balance showed that the single-phase process was superior in terms of volumetric methane production and energy yield by 33%. The lower energy yield of the two-phase system was due to the loss of energy during hydrolysis in the TPAR and the deficit in methane production in the TPMR attributed to COD loss due to biomass synthesis and adsorption of hard COD onto the flocs. These results including the complicated operational procedure of the two-phase process and the economic factors suggested that the single-phase process could be the preferred system for FVW.« less
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  1. INRA, UR50, Laboratoire de Biotechnologie de l’Environnement, Avenue des Etangs, Narbonne F-11100 (France)
  2. Naskeo Environnment, 52 rue Paul Vaillant Couturier, F-92240 Malakoff (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Waste Management; Journal Volume: 34; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States