Potential of food waste-derived volatile fatty acids as alternative carbon source for denitrifying moving bed biofilm reactors

Sapmaz T., Manafi R., Mahboubi A., Lorick D., Koseoglu-Imer D. Y. , Taherzadeh M. J.

BIORESOURCE TECHNOLOGY, vol.364, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 364
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.biortech.2022.128046
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Compendex, EMBASE, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, INSPEC, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Volatile fatty acids, Food waste, External carbon source, Denitrification, Moving bed biofilm reactor, ANAEROBIC-DIGESTION, DENITRIFICATION, FERMENTATION, TEMPERATURE, HYDROGEN, LEACHATE
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Fossil-based materials such as methanol are frequently used in the denitrification process of advanced biological wastewater treatment as external carbon source. Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) produced by anaerobic digestion of food waste, are sustainable compounds with the potential to act as carbon sources for denitrification, reducing carbon footprint and material costs. In this study, the effectiveness of food waste-derived VFAs (AD-VFA) was investigated in the post-denitrification process in comparison with synthetic VFA and methanol as carbon sources. Acetic acid had the highest rate of disappearance among single tested VFAs with a denitrification rate of 0.44 g NOx-N removed/m2/day, indicating a preferential utilization pattern. While AD-VFA had a denitrification rate of 0.61 mg NOx-N removed/m2/day, sVFA had a rate of 0.57 mg NOx-N removed/m2/day, indicating that impurities in AD-VFA did not play substantial role in denitrification. AD-VFA proved to be promising carbon source alternative for denitrification in wastewater treatment plants.