Process performance of anaerobic co-digestion of raw and acidified pig slurry
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The effect of incorporating different ratios of acidified pig slurry on methane yield was evaluated in two scales of anaerobic digesters: Thermophilic (50 degrees C) pilot scale digester (1201), operating with an average hydraulic retention time of 20 days and thermophilic (52 degrees C) full-scale digesters (10 and 30 m(3)), operating with an average hydraulic retention time of 30 days. In the lab-scale digester, different inclusion levels of acidified slurry (0-60%) were tested each 15 days, to determine the maximum ratio of acidified to non-acidified slurry causing inhibition and to find process state indicators helping to prevent process failure. In the full-scale digesters, the level of inclusion of the acidified slurry was chosen from the ratio causing methane inhibition in the pilot scale experiment and was carried on in a long-term process of 100 days. The optimal inclusion level of acidified pig slurry in anaerobic co-digestion with conventional slurry was 10%, which promoted anaerobic methane yield by nearly 20%. Higher inclusion levels caused methane inhibition and volatile fatty acids accumulations in both experiments. In order to prevent process failure, the most important traits to monitor in the anaerobic digestion of acidified pig slurry were found to be: sulfate content of the slurry, alkalinity parameters (especially partial alkalinity and the ratio of alkalinity) and total volatile fatty acids (especially acetic and butyric acids). (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.