Improvement of biogas production and nitrogen recovery in anaerobic digestion of purple phototrophic bacteria by thermal hydrolysis
Purple phototrophic bacteria (PPB) are a novel driver to recover organics and nutrients from wastewater by assimilative growth. Depending on the source, assimilated resources from the PPB biomass can still be recovered after a releasing step. Anaerobic digestion (AD) releases carbon and nutrients, but the release is incomplete. Thermal hydrolysis (TH) as a pretreatment before AD improves the digestibility, release, and subsequent recovery potentials. This work determines the effects of TH in batch and continuous modes regarding methane potential, nutrients’ release efficiencies, volatile solids destruction, degradability, and hydrolysis rates. Continuous runs over 165 days (d) confirmed enhanced recovery potentials, achieving up to 380 LCH4/kgVS (83 % solids destruction) and 73 % N release, respectively. The TH pretreatment is energy-intensive, but with appropriate heat recovery and increased methane production in the AD of the pretreated biomass, a combined configuration is energy positive.
This project has received funding from the Spanish Government and “Comunidad de Madrid” and European Structural Funds through Projects S2018/EMT-4341 (REMTAVARES-CM) and CTM2017-82865-R. DP wishes to thank the Spanish Ministry of Economy for the Ramon y Cajal grant.
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