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Bioengineered. 2020 Dec;11(1):39-52. doi: 10.1080/21655979.2019.1703544.

Factors influencing volatile fatty acids production from food wastes via anaerobic digestion.

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Swedish Centre for Resource Recovery, University of Borås, Borås, Sweden.
Department of Chemical and Polymer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria.
Department of Food and Agricultural Product Technology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.


Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) are intermediate products in anaerobic digestion. The effect of substrate loading or inoculum to substrate ratio (ISR), the addition of methanogen inhibitor, O2 presence, control the reactor's pH, and inoculum adaptation on the VFAs production from food waste through acidogenesis process was investigated in this study. Addition of 2-bromoethane sulfonic (BES) as methanogen inhibitor suppressed VFA consumption by methanogens at ISR 1:1. At higher substrate loading (ISR 1:3), methane production can be suppressed even without the addition of BES. However, at high substrate loading, controlling the pH during acidogenesis is important to achieve high VFAs yield. Acclimatization of inoculum is also one of the strategies to achieve high VFA yield. The highest VFAs yield obtained in this work was 0.8 g VFA/g VS added at ISR 1:3, controlled pH at 6, with the presence of initial O2 (headspace unflushed).


Inoculum to substrate ratio; O2; VFA; anaerobic digestion; inoculum acclimatization; pH control; the inhibitor for methanogens

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