Inhibition by fatty acids during fermentation of pre-treated waste activated sludge

Pratt, S., Liew, D., Batstone, D. J., Werker, A. G., Morgan-Sagastume, F. and Lant, P. A. (2012) Inhibition by fatty acids during fermentation of pre-treated waste activated sludge. Journal of Biotechnology, 159 1-2: 38-43. doi:10.1016/j.jbiotec.2012.02.001

Author Pratt, S.
Liew, D.
Batstone, D. J.
Werker, A. G.
Morgan-Sagastume, F.
Lant, P. A.
Title Inhibition by fatty acids during fermentation of pre-treated waste activated sludge
Journal name Journal of Biotechnology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0168-1656
Publication date 2012-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2012.02.001
Volume 159
Issue 1-2
Start page 38
End page 43
Total pages 6
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Fermentation of waste activated sludge produces volatile fatty acids (VFAs), which can be used as the carbon sources for numerous biological processes. However, product inhibition can limit extent of fermentation to VFAs. In this study, product inhibition during fermentation of waste activated sludge pre-treated by a thermal hydrolysis process (THP-WAS) was investigated. Product inhibition was confirmed as spiking reactors with high levels of a mix of VFAs prevented fermentation taking place. Various inhibition models were trialled and it was found that a threshold model (based on thermodynamics) provided the best fit between model and data. This is the first time that threshold type inhibition has been shown for a mixed substrate, mixed population system. Batch fermentations carried out with THP-WAS of different dilutions were used to evaluate the impact of different organic loadings. The threshold VFA concentration for the systems studied was determined to be 17 ± 1 gCODVFA L−1. Inhibition was shown to be due to the presence of a combination of VFAs containing 2–6 carbon atoms each. When evaluated individually, by spiking individual VFAs, all VFAs except for acetate had the same impact at this threshold; acetate being approximately 50% as inhibitory as the other organic acids (COD basis). Based on this, a weighted model could be proposed to better represent the data. Strategies to improve overall yield could be increased production of acetate, or dilution to below the inhibitory level.
Keyword Fermentation
Product inhibition
Organic acids
Waste activated sludge
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Chemical Engineering Publications
Official 2013 Collection
Advanced Water Management Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 24 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 28 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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