Treatment of dairy waste by anaerobic co-digestion with sewage sludge

Open access

Abstract

The results of anaerobic digestion (AD) of buttermilk (BM) and cheese whey (CW) with a digested sewage sludge as inoculum is described. The substrate/inoculum mixtures were prepared using 10% buttermilk and 15% cheese whey. The essential parameters of the materials were described, including: total solids (TS), volatile solids (VS), pH, conductivity, C/N ratio (the quantitative ratio of organic carbon (C) to nitrogen (N)), alkalinity, chemical oxygen demand (COD). The potential directions of biodegradation of the organic waste types, as used in this study, are also presented. Appropriate chemical reactions illustrate the substrates and products in each phase of anaerobic decomposition of the compounds that are present in buttermilk and cheese whey: lactic acid, lactose, fat, and casein. Moreover, the biogas and biomethane production rates are compared for the substrates used in the experiment. The results have shown that buttermilk in AD generates more biogas (743 m3/Mg VS), including methane (527 m3/Mg VS), when compared with cheese whey (600 m3/Mg VS, 338 m3/Mg VS for biogas and methane, respectively).

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Ecological Chemistry and Engineering S

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