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Title: An integrated microbial electrolysis-anaerobic digestion process combined with pretreatment of wastewater solids to improve hydrogen production

Abstract

A combined anaerobic digestion (AD) and microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) system, named here as ADMEC, was investigated in this paper to evaluate the energy recovery from pretreated wastewater solids. Alkaline and thermal hydrolysis pretreatment methods increased the solubility of organic compounds present in the raw solids by 25% and 20%, respectively. The soluble phase from pretreatment was separated and used for microbial electrolysis, whereas the insoluble fraction was fed into semi-continuous digesters. The digester effluent was later utilized as a second MEC substrate. The pretreatment had variable effects on AD and MEC performance. The methane content in AD biogas was higher in pretreated groups, 78.29 ± 2.89% and 73.2 ± 1.79%, for alkaline and thermal, than the control, 50.26 ± 0.53%, but the overall biogas production rates were lower than the control, 20 and 30 mL CH4 gCOD-1 d-1 for alkaline and thermal compared to 80 mL CH4 gCOD-1 d-1. The effluent streams from thermally pretreated digesters were the best substrate for microbial electrolysis, in terms of hydrogen production and efficiency. The MECs produced 1.7 ± 0.2 L-H2 per L per day, 0.3 ± 0.1 L-H2 per L per day, and 0.29 ± 0.1 L-H2 per L per day, formore » thermal, alkaline, and control reactors. The productivity was lower compared to acetate and propionate controls, which yielded 5.79 ± 0.03 L-H2 per L per day and 3.49 ± 0.10 L-H2 per L per day, respectively. The pretreatment solubilized fractions were not ideal substrates for microbial electrolysis. Finally, a chemical oxygen demand (COD) mass balance showed that pretreatment shifts the electron flux away from methane and biomass sinks towards hydrogen production.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education. Dept. of Microbiology; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Dept.; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1376484
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2053-1400
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Beegle, Jeff R., and Borole, Abhijeet P. An integrated microbial electrolysis-anaerobic digestion process combined with pretreatment of wastewater solids to improve hydrogen production. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1039/C7EW00189D.
Beegle, Jeff R., & Borole, Abhijeet P. An integrated microbial electrolysis-anaerobic digestion process combined with pretreatment of wastewater solids to improve hydrogen production. United States. doi:10.1039/C7EW00189D.
Beegle, Jeff R., and Borole, Abhijeet P. Thu . "An integrated microbial electrolysis-anaerobic digestion process combined with pretreatment of wastewater solids to improve hydrogen production". United States. doi:10.1039/C7EW00189D. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1376484.
@article{osti_1376484,
title = {An integrated microbial electrolysis-anaerobic digestion process combined with pretreatment of wastewater solids to improve hydrogen production},
author = {Beegle, Jeff R. and Borole, Abhijeet P.},
abstractNote = {A combined anaerobic digestion (AD) and microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) system, named here as ADMEC, was investigated in this paper to evaluate the energy recovery from pretreated wastewater solids. Alkaline and thermal hydrolysis pretreatment methods increased the solubility of organic compounds present in the raw solids by 25% and 20%, respectively. The soluble phase from pretreatment was separated and used for microbial electrolysis, whereas the insoluble fraction was fed into semi-continuous digesters. The digester effluent was later utilized as a second MEC substrate. The pretreatment had variable effects on AD and MEC performance. The methane content in AD biogas was higher in pretreated groups, 78.29 ± 2.89% and 73.2 ± 1.79%, for alkaline and thermal, than the control, 50.26 ± 0.53%, but the overall biogas production rates were lower than the control, 20 and 30 mL CH4 gCOD-1 d-1 for alkaline and thermal compared to 80 mL CH4 gCOD-1 d-1. The effluent streams from thermally pretreated digesters were the best substrate for microbial electrolysis, in terms of hydrogen production and efficiency. The MECs produced 1.7 ± 0.2 L-H2 per L per day, 0.3 ± 0.1 L-H2 per L per day, and 0.29 ± 0.1 L-H2 per L per day, for thermal, alkaline, and control reactors. The productivity was lower compared to acetate and propionate controls, which yielded 5.79 ± 0.03 L-H2 per L per day and 3.49 ± 0.10 L-H2 per L per day, respectively. The pretreatment solubilized fractions were not ideal substrates for microbial electrolysis. Finally, a chemical oxygen demand (COD) mass balance showed that pretreatment shifts the electron flux away from methane and biomass sinks towards hydrogen production.},
doi = {10.1039/C7EW00189D},
journal = {Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology},
number = ,
volume = 3,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {8}
}

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