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Kim, Jaai
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Response of a continuous biomethanation process to transient organic shock loads under controlled and uncontrolled pH conditions

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Title
Response of a continuous biomethanation process to transient organic shock loads under controlled and uncontrolled pH conditions
Author
Kim, JaaiLee, Changsoo
Issue Date
2015-04
Publisher
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Citation
WATER RESEARCH, v.73, pp.68 - 77
Abstract
The organic loading rate (OLR) is a critical factor that controls the treatment efficiency and biogas production in anaerobic digestion (AD). Therefore, organic shock loads may cause significant process imbalances accompanied by a drop in pH and acid accumulation or even failure. This study investigated the response of a continuous mesophilic anaerobic bioreactor to a series of transient organic shock loads of the substrate whey permeate, a high-strength organic wastewater from cheese making. The reactor was subjected to organic shock loads of increasing magnitude (a one-day pulse of elevated feed organic concentration) under controlled (near 7) and uncontrolled pH conditions at a fixed HRT of 10 days. The reactor was resilient to up to a shock load of up to 8.0 g SCOD/L·d under controlled pH conditions but failed to recover from the serious imbalance caused by a 3.0-g SCOD/L·d shock load, thus indicating the critical effect of pH on system resilience. The acidified reactor was not restored by interrupted feeding under the acidic conditions that were formed (pH ≤ 4.5) but was successfully restored after pH adjustment to 7. The reactor subsequently reverted to continuous mode without pH control and showed a performance comparable to the stable performance at the design OLR of 1.0 g SCOD/L·d. The bacterial community structure shifted dynamically in association with disturbances in the reactor conditions, whereas the archaeal community structure remained simple and less variable during the shock loading experiments. The structural shifts of the bacterial community were well correlated with the process performance changes, and performance recovery was generally accompanied by recovery of the bacterial community structure. The overall results suggest that the reactor pH, rather than simply acting as an accumulation of organic acids, had a crucial effect on the resilience and robustness of the microbial community and thus on the reactor performance under organic shock loads.
URI
https://scholarworks.unist.ac.kr/handle/201301/10599
URL
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0043135415000354#
DOI
10.1016/j.watres.2015.01.015
ISSN
0043-1354
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