Effects of feedstock carbon to nitrogen ratio and organic loading on foaming potential in mesophilic food waste anaerobic digestion
This paper examines the applicability of food waste leachate (FWL) in bioreactor landfills or anaerobic digesters to produce methane as a sustainable solution to the persisting leachate management problem in Korea. Taking into account the climatic conditions in Korea and FWL characteristics, the effect of key parameters, viz., temperature, alkalinity and salinity on methane yield was investigated. The monthly average moisture content and the ratio of volatile solids to total solids of the FWL were found to be 84% and 91%, respectively. The biochemical methane potential experiment under standard digestion conditions showed the methane yield of FWL to be 358 and 478 ml/g VS after 10 and 28 days of digestion, respectively, with an average methane content of 70%. Elemental analysis showed the chemical composition of FWL to be C(13.02)H(23.01)O(5.93)N(1). The highest methane yield of 403 ml/g VS was obtained at 35 degrees C due to the adaptation of seed microorganisms to mesophilic atmosphere, while methane yields at 25, 45 and 55 degrees C were 370, 351 and 275 ml/g VS, respectively, at the end of 20 days. Addition of alkalinity had a favorable effect on the methane yield. Dilution of FWL with salinity of 2g/l NaCl resulted in 561 ml CH(4)/g VS at the end of 30 days. Considering its high biodegradability (82.6%) and methane production potential, anaerobic digestion of FWL in bioreactor landfills or anaerobic digesters with a preferred control of alkalinity and salinity can be considered as a sustainable solution to the present emergent problem.