Removal and recovery of inhibitory volatile fatty acids from mixed acid fermentations by conventional electrodialysis

Rhys Jon Jones, Jaime Massanet-Nicolau, Alan Guwy, Giuliano C. Premier, Richard M. Dinsdale, Matthew Reilly

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Abstract

Hydrogen production during dark fermentation is inhibited by the co-production of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) such as acetic and n-butyric acid. In this study, the effectiveness of conventional electrodialysis (CED) in reducing VFA concentrations in model solutions and hydrogen fermentation broths is evaluated. This is the first time CED has been reported to remove VFAs from hydrogen fermentation broths. During 60min of operation CED removed up to 99% of VFAs from model solutions, sucrose-fed and grass-fed hydrogen fermentation broths, containing up to 1200mgl-1 each of acetic acid, propionic acid, i-butyric acid, n-butyric acid, i-valeric acid, and n-valeric acid. CED's ability to remove VFAs from hydrogen fermentation broths suggests that this technology is capable of improving hydrogen yields from dark fermentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-284
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume189
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015

Keywords

  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Electrodialysis
  • Fermentation
  • Hydrogen
  • Volatile fatty acids

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