The use of agricultural substrates to improve methane yield in anaerobic co-digestion with pig slurry: Effect of substrate type and inclusion level
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Anaerobic co-digestion of pig slurry with four agricultural substrates (tomato, pepper, persimmon and peach) was investigated. Each agricultural substrate was tested in co-digestion with pig slurry at four inclusion levels: 0%, 15%, 30% and 50%. Inclusion levels consisted in the replacement of the volatile solids (VS) from the pig slurry with the VS from the agricultural substrate. The effect of substrate type and inclusion level on the biochemical methane potential (BMP) was evaluated in a batch assay performed at 35 degrees C for 100 days. Agricultural substrate's chemical composition was also analyzed and related with BMP. Additionally, Bacteria and Archaea domains together with the four main methanogenic archaeal orders were quantified using quantitative real-time TaqMan polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) at the end of the experiment to determine the influence of agricultural substrate on sludge's microbial composition. Results showed that vegetable substrates (pepper and tomato) had higher lipid and protein content and lower carbohydrates than fruit substrates (persimmon and peach). Among substrates, vegetable substrates showed higher BMP than fruit substrates. Higher BMP values were obtained with increasing addition of agricultural substrate. The replacement of 50% of VS from pig slurry by tomato and pepper increased BMP in 41% and 44%, respectively compared with pig slurry only. Lower increments in BMP were achieved with lower inclusion levels. Results from qPCR showed that total bacteria and total archaea gene concentrations were similar in all combinations tested. Methanomicrobiales gene concentrations dominated over the rest of individual archaeal orders. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.