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Title: Anaerobic mixed culture fermentation of organic waste for the production of carboxylates, molecular hydrogen and ethanol
Author: De Oliveira e Silva, Igor Maciel
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 1031
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis aimed at investigating a process based on anaerobic mixed culture fermentation (AMCF) of organic waste to produce carboxylates, molecular hydrogen and ethanol. The novelty of this study was to estimate the potential production of these bulk chemicals from selected renewable feedstocks and to experimentally investigate their production from the AMCF of three distinct types of feedstock without physicochemical pre-treatment: grass, a lignocellulosic substrate; cheese whey, a lactose-rich residue; and fish processing wastewater, a complex effluent containing proteins and fats. The estimation showed that AMCF of a small fraction (less than 1.6%) of the selected feedstock would be required to suffice the current production of carboxylates from oil-based feedstock, whilst up to 51% of the feedstock would be needed to satisfy the current production of ethanol and molecular hydrogen. In the experiments with AMCF of grass, low organic loading rates and long solids retention times were required to increase the substrate conversion because of the hard-biodegradability found in the substrate without any physicochemical pre-treatment. For the AMCF of cheese whey, the production of carboxylates decreased the pH to low levels and consequently inhibited the fermentation. For the AMCF of fish processing wastewater, the feedstock showed high biodegradability with production of biogas under batch condition and stable production of carboxylates under semi-continuous condition. The release of ammonium during the degradation of proteins was considered one of the main factors to avoid the pH drop when carboxylates were produced throughout the fermentation. In conclusion, the study showed that the feedstock nature and the operating condition play a key role in how to drive the AMCF to the production of these chemicals and avoid methanogenesis. Whilst hydrolysis limits the fermentation for hardly biodegradable feedstock, volatile fatty acids formation and pH inhibit the AMCF of more easily biodegradable feedstock.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: CAPES-Brazil (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Waste products as fuel ; Fermentation ; Organic wastes