Double-stage membrane-assisted anaerobic digestion process intensification for production and recovery of volatile fatty acids from food waste

Pervez M. N., Bilgic B., Mahboubi A., Uwineza C., Zarra T., Belgiorno V., ...More

SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, vol.825, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 825
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.154084
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Analytical Abstracts, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Chimica, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, EMBASE, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, Greenfile, MEDLINE, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Food waste, Volatile fatty acids (VFAs), Anaerobic membrane bioreactor, Microfiltration, Ultrafiltration, ORGANIC-MATTER, REMOVAL, HYDROGEN, ULTRAFILTRATION, BIOCONVERSION, FERMENTATION, SLUDGE
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


The potential of organic waste streams (i.e., food waste) for the sustainable production of precursor chemicals such as volatile fatty acids (VFAs) using anaerobic digestion (AD) has received significant attention in the present days. AD-derived VFAs have great market appeal if the challenges with their recovery and purification from the complex AD effluent is overcome. In this study, a microfiltration immersed membrane bioreactor (MBR) was used for the production of VFAs from food waste and simultaneously in-situ recovery of VFAs. The MBR set-up was applied for 98 days, with a maximum yield of 0.2 gVFA/gVS(added) at an organic loading rate (OLR) of 4 g VS/L/d. The recovered permeate was then subjected to further purification using a side stream ultrafiltration unit. It was found that the removal rates of total solids (TS), total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved solids (DS), volatile solids (VS) and volatile suspended solids (VSS) were above 70-80% in both membranes (10 kDa and 50 kDa), and Phosphorus (P), Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN), chemical oxygen demand (COD), and NH4+-N were also removed partially. Particularly, VFAs concentration (above 6 g/L) was higher for 10 kDa at pH 5.4 in ultrafiltered solution and permeate flux decline was higher for 10 kDa at pH 5.4. These results are also supported by the measurement of UV-Vis spectra of the solution and visual appearance, providing a promising approach towards building a VFAs-based platform.