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Bioresour Technol. 2009 Aug;100(15):3695-700. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2008.12.029. Epub 2009 Feb 5.

Saponification of fatty slaughterhouse wastes for enhancing anaerobic biodegradability.

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INRA, UR50, Laboratoire de Biotechnologie de l'Environnement, Avenue des Etangs, Narbonne F-11100, France.


The thermochemical pretreatment by saponification of two kinds of fatty slaughterhouse waste--aeroflotation fats and flesh fats from animal carcasses--was studied in order to improve the waste's anaerobic degradation. The effect of an easily biodegradable compound, ethanol, on raw waste biodegradation was also examined. The aims of the study were to enhance the methanisation of fatty waste and also to show a link between biodegradability and bio-availability. The anaerobic digestion of raw waste, saponified waste and waste with a co-substrate was carried out in batch mode under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. The results showed little increase in the total volume of biogas, indicating a good biodegradability of the raw wastes. Mean biogas volume reached 1200 mL/g VS which represented more than 90% of the maximal theoretical biogas potential. Raw fatty wastes were slowly biodegraded whereas pretreated wastes showed improved initial reaction kinetics, indicating a better initial bio-availability, particularly for mesophilic runs. The effects observed for raw wastes with ethanol as co-substrate depended on the process temperature: in mesophilic conditions, an initial improvement was observed whereas in thermophilic conditions a significant decrease in biodegradability was observed.

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