Anaerobic co-digestion of high-strength organic wastes pretreated by thermal hydrolysis.
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Bioresource technology, ISSN: 1873-2976, Vol: 257, Page: 238-248
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- Chemical Engineering; Environmental Science; Energy; Anaerobic digestion; Hydrogen sulfide; Microbial community structure; Pretreatment; Thermal hydrolysis
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Thermal hydrolysis (TH) pretreatment was investigated for the anaerobic digestion (AD) of a mixture of high-strength organic wastes (i.e., dewatered human feces, dewatered sewage sludge, and food wastewater) at laboratory scale to simulate a full-scale plant and evaluate its feasibility. The reactors maintained efficient and stable performance at a hydraulic retention time of 20 days, which may be not sufficient for the mesophilic AD of high-suspended-solid wastes, despite the temporal variations in organic load. The addition of FeCl was effective in controlling HS and resulted in significant changes in the microbial community structure, particularly the methanogens. The temporary interruption in feeding or temperature control led to immediate performance deterioration, but it recovered rapidly when normal operations were resumed. The overall results suggest that the AD process coupled with TH pretreatment can provide an efficient, robust, and resilient system to manage high-suspended-solid wastes, supporting the feasibility of its full-scale implementation.