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Anaerobic mesophilic co-digestion of sugar-beet processing wastewater and beet-pulp in batch reactors

Alkaya, Emrah
Demirer, Göksel Niyazi
In this study, biochemical methane potential (BMP) assay was conducted to investigate the effect of waste mixing and F/M ratio on the co-digestion of wastewater and beet-pulp, in addition to the digestion of the wastes separately. In the studied F/M range (0.51–2.56 g COD/g VSS), observed treatment efficiencies (63.7–87.3% COD removal and 69.6–89.3% VS reduction) were indications of high biodegradability for both wastewater and beet-pulp, which decreased with increasing F/M. It was evident that the extent of biomethanation of wastewater was higher than beet-pulp, owing to the inherent soluble carbohydrates in wastewater. When the co-digestion of the wastes was evaluated, it came up with the result that, major outcome of wastewater addition was to increase methane production rate of beet-pulp, rather than increasing its ultimate biodegradability. Indeed, modeled first-order rate functions indicated that rate constants (k values) differentiated in the ranges between 0.081 and 0.143 day−1 and 0.028–0.050 day−1 respectively for wastewater added and non-added reactors. These results indicated that anaerobic co-digestion of wastewater and beet-pulp is promising since wastewater addition significantly increases the rate of biomethanation of beet-pulp.