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High-load anaerobic co-digestion of cheese whey and liquid fraction of dairy manure in a one-stage UASB process: Limits in co-substrates ratio and organic loading rate

Abstract: Cheese whey is considered an important pollutant in dairy wastewaters and an environmental problem to solve. This study aimed to develop a treatment process that combines the advantages of co-digesting cheese whey with manure and the short hydraulic retention time of a high-load anaerobic treatment system by using liquid fractions of dairy manure as a co-substrate. The proposed co-digestion process consists of a one-stage UASB reactor with an external settler and effluent recycling for alkalinity supplementation. Under a constant hydraulic retention time of 2.2 days and increasing proportion of cheese whey in the feed, the system demonstrated stable operation up to a 75% cheese whey fraction in the feed, with an applied organic loading rate of 19.4 kg COD m3 d1, obtaining a 94.7% COD removal and a volumetric methane production rate of 6.4 m3 CH4 m3 d1. Critical biomass washout was experienced when the cheese whey fraction in the feed was 85%. Operation at a constant 60% cheese whey fraction in the feed mixture enabled stable operation under an organic loading rate of 28.7 kg COD m3 d1 and 1.3 days HRT, with 95.1% COD removal and a volumetric methane production rate of 9.5 m3 CH4 m3 d1. This new high-load co-digestion method proposed is a promising solution for areas where cheese factories and intensive livestock farming are responsible for environmental pollution caused by unsuitable cheese whey and manure management practices.

Otras publicaciones de la misma revista o congreso con autores/as de la Universidad de Cantabria

 Autoría: Rico C., Muñoz N., Fernández J., Rico J.,

 Fuente: Chemical Engineering Journal, 2015, 262, 794–802

Editorial: Elsevier

 Fecha de publicación: 22/10/2015

Nº de páginas: 9

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2014.10.050

ISSN: 1385-8947,1873-3212

Proyecto español: CTM2011-28042

Url de la publicación: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2014.10.050