Journal Article Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) production from swine manure through short-term dry anaerobic digestion and its separation from nitrogen and phosphorus resources in the digestate

Huang, Weiwei  ,  Huang, Wenli  ,  Yuan, Tian  ,  Zhao, Ziwen  ,  Cai, Wei  ,  Zhang, Zhenya  ,  Lei, Zhongfang  ,  Feng, Chuanping

90pp.344 - 353 , 2016-03 , Elsevier
The sustainability of an agricultural system depends highly upon the recycling of all useful substances from agricultural wastes. This study explored the feasibility of comprehensive utilization of C, N and P resources in swine manure (SM) through short-term dry anaerobic digestion (AD) followed by dry ammonia stripping, aiming at achieving (1) effective total volatile fatty acids (VFAs) production and separation; (2) ammonia recovery from the digestate; and (3) preservation of high P bioavailability in the solid residue for further applications. Specifically, two ammonia stripping strategies were applied and compared in this work: (I) ammonia stripping was directly performed with the digestate from dry AD of SM (i.e. dry ammonia stripping); and (II) wet ammonia stripping was conducted by using the resultant filtrate from solid–liquid separation of the mixture of digestate and added water. Results showed that dry AD of the tested SM at 55 °C, 20% TS and unadjusted initial pH (8.6) for 8 days produced relatively high concentrations of total VFAs (94.4 mg-COD/g-VS) and ammonia-N (20.0 mg/g-VS) with high potentially bioavailable P (10.6 mg/g-TS) remained in the digestate, which was considered optimal in this study. In addition, high ammonia removal efficiencies of 96.2% and 99.7% were achieved through 3 h' dry and wet stripping (at 55 °C and initial pH 11.0), respectively, while the total VFAs concentration in the digestate/filtrate remained favorably unchanged. All experimental data from the two stripping processes well fitted to the pseudo first-order kinetic model (R2 = 0.9916–0.9997) with comparable theoretical maximum ammonia removal efficiencies (Aeq, >90%) being obtained under the tested dry and wet stripping conditions, implying that the former was more advantageous due to its much higher volumetric total ammonia-N removal rate thus much smaller reactor volume, less energy/chemicals consumption and no foaming problems. After 8 days' dry AD and 3 h' dry ammonia stripping, the separated liquid containing VFAs and the recovered ammonia were both marketable products, and the solid residues with averagely higher C/N ratios of 25.7 than those of raw SM (18.0) meanwhile maintaining a relatively high bioavailable P content of 8.1 mg/g-TS can serve as better feedstock for methane fermentation.

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