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Effect of fruit flavors on anaerobic digestion: inhibitions and solutions
University of Borås, School of Engineering. (Biotechnology)
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Sustainable development
The content falls within the scope of Sustainable Development
Abstract [en]

Fruits are among the most important commodities in global trading due to its fundamental nutritional values. In 2012, the fruits supply was 115 kg/person/year, however, only 50 % of the fruits reached their consumers and the rest ended up as waste during the long fruit supply chain. The waste from fruits is mostly dumped or burned, creating a serious environmental problem. A more sustainable handling of the waste is therefore highly desirable. One of them is conversion of the fruits wastes into biogas through anaerobic digestion. One challenge with the conversion of fruits wastes into biogas is the presence of antimicrobial compounds in the fruits, which reduce the biogas yield or even cause a total failure of the process. Fruit flavors have been reported to have antimicrobial activity against several microorganisms and being responsible for the defense system in the fruits. However, there is only scarce information about the effect of fruit flavors on anaerobic digesting microbia. The objectives of the present thesis were: 1) to investigate the inhibitory activity of the fruit flavors on anaerobic digestion; 2) to remove the flavor compound by pretreatment; and 3) to protect the cell from the flavor compounds using a membrane bioreactor. The inhibitory activity of the fruit flavors was examined from different groups of flavors by adding a single flavor compound into the batch anaerobic digesting system, at three different concentrations. Among the flavors added, myrcene and octanol were found to exhibit a strong inhibitory activity, with 50 % reduction of the methane production at low concentrations, ca. 0.005–0.05 %. These flavors can be found in oranges, strawberries, grapes, plums, and mangoes. The other flavors tested showed moderate and low inhibitory activity, which might not affect the anaerobic digestion of the fruits wastes. In order to overcome the inhibitory effects of the fruit flavor, two approaches were proposed in this thesis, namely, fruit flavor removal by leaching pretreatment and cell protection from fruit flavor using a membrane bioreactor. Orange peel waste and D-limonene were used as a model of fruit waste and inhibitor, respectively. The leaching pretreatment uses solvent to extract the limonene from the orange peel. The methane yield increased by 356 % from 0.061 Nm3/kg VS to 0.217 Nm3/kg VS, by pretreating the peel using hexane with peel and a hexane ratio of 1:12 at room temperature for 10 min. Alternative to limonene removal, the cells were encased in a hydrophilic membrane, which is impermeable to hydrophobic limonene. This method yielded more than six times higher methane yield, compared to the free cell. At the highest organic loading rate, examined in this work, 3 g VS/L/day, the methane yield of the reactor containing the free cell was only 0.05 Nm3/kg VS, corresponding to 10 % of the theoretical yield, whereas 0.33 Nm3/kg VS methane yield was achieved using a membrane bioreactor corresponding to 75 % of the theoretical yield.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Borås, School of Engineering , 2014.
Skrifter från Högskolan i Borås, ISSN 0280-381X ; 54
Keyword [en]
Fruit wastes, Fruit flavors, Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Leaching pretreatment, Membrane bioreactors, Resource Recovery
National Category
Chemical Engineering Other Industrial Biotechnology
Research subject
Resource Recovery; Resource Recovery
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-3707Local ID: 2320/14222ISBN: 978-91-87525-27-8ISBN: 978-91-87525-28-5OAI: diva2:877097

Thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Borås to be publicly defended on November 27th 2014, 10.00 a.m. in room E310, University of Borås, Allégatan 1, Borås.

Available from: 2015-12-04 Created: 2015-12-04 Last updated: 2016-08-19Bibliographically approved

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Wikandari, Rachma
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