Anaerobic co-digestion on improving methane production from mixed microalgae (Scenedesmus sp., Chlorella sp.) and food waste: Kinetic modeling and synergistic impact evaluation

Guangyin Zhen, Xueqin Lu, Takuro Kobayashi, Gopalakrishnan Kumar, Kaiqin Xu

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Continuous primary energy consumption has motivated the scientists of the world to search for renewable energy sources that could substitute fossil fuels. Microalgae can be an alternative substrate for renewable energy recovery. In this study, biochemical methane potential (BMP) assays were used as a tool to examine the technical potential of methane production from microalgae (MA) through co-digesting with food waste (FW) at different MA: FW ratios on volatile solids (VS). Three mathematical models (i.e. first-order kinetic, modified Gompertz, and Cone models) were also utilized to fit the experimental data, with the purpose of elucidating the biological degradation and principle kinetics of the co-digestion. The results showed that supplementing food waste significantly improved microalgae digestion performance, with the highest methane yield of 639.8 ± 1.3 mL/g VSadded obtained at a MA:FW ratio of 0.2:0.8, which was 4.99-fold increase with respect to that (106.9 ± 3.2 mL/g VSadded) of the microalgae alone. Cone model had the best fitness and reliability to the experimental results and could describe the co-digestion kinetics more reasonably. Parameter analysis and synergistic impact evaluation together revealed that the improvement in methanogenesis potential (fd) caused by the synergy of co-digestion might be the fundamental cause for the upgraded methane production. These results validated the superiority of co-digestion as a step towards maximizing methane production from microalgae, aiding the development of multi-biomass co-disposal and ultimately bioenergy recovery techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-341
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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