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Biotechnol Adv. 2014 Dec;32(8):1523-34. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2014.10.005. Epub 2014 Oct 16.

Toxicants inhibiting anaerobic digestion: a review.

Author information

1
Advanced Environmental Biotechnology Centre, Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637141.
2
School of Materials Science & Engineering, College of Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637141.
3
School of Materials Science & Engineering, College of Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637141. Electronic address: wjsteele@ntu.edu.sg.
4
Advanced Environmental Biotechnology Centre, Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 637141; Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK. Electronic address: d.stuckey@imperial.ac.uk.

Abstract

Anaerobic digestion is increasingly being used to treat wastes from many sources because of its manifold advantages over aerobic treatment, e.g. low sludge production and low energy requirements. However, anaerobic digestion is sensitive to toxicants, and a wide range of compounds can inhibit the process and cause upset or failure. Substantial research has been carried out over the years to identify specific inhibitors/toxicants, and their mechanism of toxicity in anaerobic digestion. In this review we present a detailed and critical summary of research on the inhibition of anaerobic processes by specific organic toxicants (e.g., chlorophenols, halogenated aliphatics and long chain fatty acids), inorganic toxicants (e.g., ammonia, sulfide and heavy metals) and in particular, nanomaterials, focusing on the mechanism of their inhibition/toxicity. A better understanding of the fundamental mechanisms behind inhibition/toxicity will enhance the wider application of anaerobic digestion.

KEYWORDS:

Ammonia; Anaerobic digestion; Chlorophenols; Halogenated aliphatics; Heavy metals; Inhibition; Long chain fatty acids; Nanomaterials; Sulfide; Toxicant

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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