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Bioresour Technol. 2013 Oct;145:166-74. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.12.137. Epub 2012 Dec 29.

Biological upgrading of volatile fatty acids, key intermediates for the valorization of biowaste through dark anaerobic fermentation.

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Clermont Université, Université Blaise Pascal, Institut Pascal UMR CNRS 6602, Polytech Clermont-Ferrand, Aubière, France.


VFAs can be obtained from lignocellulosic agro-industrial wastes, sludge, and various biodegradable organic wastes as key intermediates through dark fermentation processes and synthesized through chemical route also. They are building blocks of several organic compounds viz. alcohol, aldehyde, ketones, esters and olefins. These can serve as alternate carbon source for microbial biolipid, biohydrogen, microbial fuel cells productions, methanisation, and for denitrification. Organic wastes are the substrate for VFA platform that is of zero or even negative cost, giving VFA as intermediate product but their separation from the fermentation broth is still a challenge; however, several separation technologies have been developed, membrane separation being the most suitable one. These aspects will be reviewed and results obtained during anaerobic treatment of slaughterhouse wastes with further utilisation of volatile fatty acids for yeast cultivation have been discussed.


Anaerobiosis; Bio-hydrogen; Dark-fermentation; Membrane-separation; VFA

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