This paper examines the effect of mixing on the performance of thermophilic anaerobic digestion of source-sorted organic fraction of municipal solid waste during the start-up phase and in the absence of an acclimated seed. For this purpose, two digesters were used under similar starting conditions and operated for 235days with different mixing schemes. While both digesters exhibited a successful startup with comparable specific methane yield of 0.327 and 0.314l CH 4/gVS, continuous slow stirring improved stability by reducing average VFA accumulation from 2890 to 825mg HAc/l, propionate content from 2073 to 488mg/l, and VFA-to-alkalinity ratio from 0.32 to 0.07. As a result, the startup with slow mixing was faster and smoother accomplishing a higher loading capacity of 2.5gVS/l/d in comparison to 1.9gVS/l/d for non-mixing. Mixing equally improved microbial abundance from 6.6 to 10gVSS/l and enhanced solids and soluble COD removal. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Waste Management and Disposal