The extracellular polymeric substances and microbial cytoplasmic contents seem to hold inorganic ions and organic products, such as proteins and carbohydrates that are of critical importance for the metabolism of hydrolytic and acidogenic anaerobic microorganisms. The addition of soluble microbially recovered nutrients from thermally treated digestate sludge, for the fermentation of thermally hydrolysed waste activated sludge, resulted in higher volatile fatty acids yields (VFAs). The yield of VFAs obtained from the recovered microbial nutrients was 27% higher than the no micronutrients control, and comparable to the yield obtained using a micronutrients commercial recipe. In addition, the use of a low pH resulting from a high sucrose dose to select spore forming acidogenic bacteria was effective for VFA production, and yielded 20% higher VFAs than without the pH shock and this associated with the addition of recovered microbial nutrients would overcome the need to thermally pre-treat the inoculum.
- Hydrolytic-acidogenic fermentation
- Inoculum selection
- Volatile fatty acids
- Waste activated sludge