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Selective optimization in thermophilic acidogenesis of cheese-whey wastewater to acetic and butyric acids: partial acidification and methanation

, : Selective optimization in thermophilic acidogenesis of cheese-whey wastewater to acetic and butyric acids: partial acidification and methanation. Water Research 37(10): 2467-2477

For partial acidogenesis of cheese-whey wastewater, a set of experiments were carried out to produce short-chain volatile fatty acids (VFA) in laboratory-scale continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTR). The maximum rate of acetic and butyric acid production associated with simultaneous changes in hydraulic retention time (HRT), pH, and temperature was investigated, in which the degree of acidification of the whey to the short-chain VFAs was less than 20% of the influent chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration. Response surface methodology was successfully applied to determine the optimum physiological conditions where the maximum rates of acetic and butyric acid production occurred. These were 0.40-day HRT, pH 6.0 at 54.1 degrees C and 0.22-day HRT, pH 6.5 at 51.9 degrees C, respectively. The optimum conditions for acetic acid production were selected for partial acidification of cheese-whey wastewater because of a higher rate in combined productions of acetic and butyric acids than that at optimum conditions for butyric acid production. A thermophilic two-phase process with the partial acidification followed by a methanation step was operated. Performance of the two-phase process was compared to the single-phase anaerobic system. The two-phase process clearly showed a better performance in management of cheese-whey wastewater over the single-phase system. Maximum rate of COD removal and the rate of methane production in the two-phase process were, respectively, 116% and 43% higher than those of the single-phase system.


PMID: 12727259

DOI: 10.1016/S0043-1354(03)00006-X

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