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  • 1.
    Ometto, F.
    et al.
    Research and Development Department , Scandinavian Biogas Fuels AB , Stockholm , Sweden.
    Berg, A.
    Research and Development Department , Scandinavian Biogas Fuels AB , Stockholm , Sweden.
    Björn, Annika
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Safaric, Luka
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Svensson, Bo H.
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Karlsson, A.
    Research and Development Department , Scandinavian Biogas Fuels AB , Stockholm , Sweden.
    Ejlertsson, Jörgen
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Research and Development Department , Scandinavian Biogas Fuels AB , Stockholm , Sweden.
    Inclusion of Saccharina latissima in conventional anaerobic digestion systems2018In: Environmental technology, ISSN 0959-3330, E-ISSN 1479-487X, Vol. 39, no 5, p. 628-639Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Loading macroalgae into existing anaerobic digestion (AD) plants allows us to overcome challenges such as low digestion efficiencies, trace elements limitation, excessive salinity levels and accumulation of volatile fatty acids (VFAs), observed while digesting algae as a single substrate. In this work, the co-digestion of the brown macroalgae Saccharina latissima with mixed municipal wastewater sludge (WWS) was investigated in mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. The hydraulic retention time (HRT) and the organic loading rate (OLR) were fixed at 19 days and 2.1 g l-1 d-1of volatile solids (VS), respectively. Initially, WWS was digested alone. Subsequently, a percentage of the total OLR (20%, 50% and finally 80%) was replaced by S. latissima biomass. Optimal digestion conditions were observed at medium-low algae loading (=50% of total OLR) with an average methane yield close to [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] in mesophilic and thermophilic conditions, respectively. The conductivity values increased with the algae loading without inhibiting the digestion process. The viscosities of the reactor sludges revealed decreasing values with reduced WWS loading at both temperatures, enhancing mixing properties.

  • 2.
    Safaric, Luka
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Biogas Research Center.
    Shakeri Yekta, Sepehr
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Biogas Research Center.
    Ejlertsson, Jörgen
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Biogas Research Center. Scandinavian Biogas Fuels AB.
    Safari, Mohammad
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Nadali Najafabadi, Hossein
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Applied Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Karlsson, Anna
    Linköping University, Biogas Research Center. Scandinavian Biogas Fuels AB.
    Ometto, Francesco
    Linköping University, Biogas Research Center. Scandinavian Biogas Fuels AB.
    Svensson, Bo H
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Björn, Annika
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Biogas Research Center.
    A Comparative Study of Biogas Reactor Fluid Rheology: Implications for Mixing Profile and Power Demand2019In: Processes, ISSN 2227-9717, Processes, ISSN 2227-9717, Vol. 7, no 10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Anaerobic digestion (AD) is an established process for integrating waste management with renewable energy and nutrient recovery. Much of the research in this field focuses on the utilisation of new substrates, yet their effects on operational aspects such as fluid behaviour and power requirement for mixing are commonly overlooked, despite their importance for process optimisation. This study analysed rheological characteristics of samples from 21 laboratory-scale continuous stirred-tank biogas reactors (CSTBRs) digesting a range of substrates, in order to evaluate substrate effect on mixing efficiency and power demand through computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The results show that substrate and process parameters, such as solids content and organic loading, all have a significant effect on CSTBR fluid rheology. The correlation levels between rheological and process parameters were different across substrates, while no specific fluid behaviour patterns could be associated with substrate choice. Substrate should thus be considered an equally important rheology effector as process parameters. Additional substrate-related parameters should be identified to explain the differences in correlations between rheological and process parameters across substrate groups. The CFD modelling revealed that the rheology differences among the AD processes have significant implications for mixing efficiency and power demand of the CSTBRs, highlighting the importance of considering the substrate-induced effects on CSTBR rheology before including a new substrate.

  • 3.
    Shakeri Yekta, Sepehr
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Liu, Tong
    Uppsala BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Axelsson Bjerg, Mette
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Šafarič, Luka
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Karlsson, Anna
    Scandinavian Biogas Fuels AB, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Björn (Fredriksson), Annika
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Schnürer, Anna
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Uppsala BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Sulfide level in municipal sludge digesters affects microbial community response to long-chain fatty acid loads2019In: Biotechnology for Biofuels, ISSN 1754-6834, E-ISSN 1754-6834, Vol. 12, no 1, article id 259Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background

    Waste lipids are attractive substrates for co-digestion with primary and activated sewage sludge (PASS) to improve biogas production at wastewater treatment plants. However, slow conversion rates of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA), produced during anaerobic digestion (AD), limit the applicability of waste lipids as co-substrates for PASS. Previous observations indicate that the sulfide level in PASS digesters affects the capacity of microbial communities to convert LCFA to biogas. This study assessed the microbial community response to LCFA loads in relation to sulfide level during AD of PASS by investigating process performance and microbial community dynamics upon addition of oleate (C18:1) and stearate (C18:0) to PASS digesters at ambient and elevated sulfide levels.

    Results

    Conversion of LCFA to biogas was limited (30% of theoretical biogas potential) during continuous co-digestion with PASS, which resulted in further LCFA accumulation. However, the accumulated LCFA were converted to biogas (up to 66% of theoretical biogas potential) during subsequent batch-mode digestion, performed without additional substrate load. Elevated sulfide level stimulated oleate (but not stearate) conversion to acetate, but oleate and sulfide imposed a synergistic limiting effect on acetoclastic methanogenesis and biogas formation. Next-generation sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons of bacteria and archaea showed that differences in sulfide level and LCFA type resulted in microbial community alterations with distinctly different patterns. Taxonomic profiling of the sequencing data revealed that the phylum Cloacimonetes is likely a key group during LCFA degradation in PASS digesters, where different members take part in degradation of saturated and unsaturated LCFA; genus W5 (family Cloacimonadaceae) and family W27 (order Cloacimonadales), respectively. In addition, LCFA-degrading Syntrophomonas, which is commonly present in lipid-fed digesters, increased in relative abundance after addition of oleate at elevated sulfide level, but not without sulfide or after stearate addition. Stearate conversion to biogas was instead associated with increasing abundance of hydrogen-producing Smithella and hydrogenotrophic Methanobacterium.

    Conclusions

    Long-chain fatty acid chain saturation and sulfide level are selective drivers for establishment of LCFA-degrading microbial communities in municipal sludge digesters.

  • 4.
    Šafarič, Luka
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Anaerobic Digester Fluid Rheology and Process Efficiency: Interactions of Substrate Composition, Trace Element Availability, and Microbial Activity2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    As the anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions continue imposing stress on our environment, it is becoming increasingly important to identify and implement new renewable technologies. Biogas production through anaerobic digestion has a great potential, since it links waste treatment with extraction of renewable energy, enabling circular bio-economies that are vital for a sustainable future.

    For biogas to have an important role as a renewable energy carrier in society, the scale of its production will need to be increased substantially. New substrates need to be introduced along with raising organic loading rates of the reactors to increase the rate of biogas production. This contributes to challenges in maintaining process stability, thus increasing the risk for process disturbances, including problems that were not commonly encountered before. These difficulties may be particularly pronounced when a broad range of new, largely untested substrates are introduced, leading to an increased heterogeneity of organic material entering the reactors. In the case of currently the most common reactor type; the continuous stirred-tank biogas reactor (CSTBR); such problems may include shifts in rheology (i.e. fluid behaviour) of the anaerobic digester sludge. This may lead to increased energy consumption and decreased digester mixing efficiencies, which in turn may lead to inefficient biogas processes, ultimately decreasing the economic and environmental viability of biogas production. Much is still unknown regarding how rheology shifts happen in biogas reactors, particularly when it comes to what role the substrate plays in rheological dynamics, as compared to the microbial community during varying levels of biogas process stability.

    This thesis elucidates the interactions between substrate type, microbial community and its metabolic activity, and anaerobic sludge rheology. A number of sludge samples from mesophilic and thermophilic CSTBRs digesting a broad range of substrates was analysed for their rheology. The specific effects of individual substrate types on CSTBR sludge rheology and the resulting implications for stirring power requirements and mixing efficiency were investigated. In order to also asses to which extent the microbial metabolism affects rheology at different levels of process disturbance, an experiment with a trace-element-induced inhibition of specific metabolic pathways under mesophilic reactor conditions was performed. This was used to identify the sequence of different interactions that occur in the reactor after the process begins to fail, and to evaluate how these interactions link to changes in digester sludge rheology. Finally, a case study of a disturbed thermophilic anaerobic digestion process was performed, including the monitoring of the response of rheology in relation to process stability, which was modified by changing trace element concentrations. The use of artificial substrate without polymeric compounds in both cases allowed for an evaluation of effects of the microbial community and its metabolic products on rheology without including the effects of complex substrates.

    The results showed that substrate type has a large effect on how different process parameters correlate with fluid behaviour. This was particularly apparent in the case of total solids and total volatile solids, which correlated well with rheological parameters for samples from reactors digesting agricultural waste, sewage sludge, paper mill waste, or food waste, but not for mesophilic co-digesters. Among the different substrates investigated, food waste was generally observed to lead to the highest limit viscosities (i.e. apparent viscosities at high shear rates, where it becomes linear and constant) of the anaerobic sludge, while digestion of paper mill waste and thermophilic co-digestion led to some of the lowest. No fluid type could be clearly coupled to a specific substrate, but it could be observed that increased solids content could generally be associated with more complex, non-Newtonian rheological behaviour. The differences in fluid characteristics between reactors corresponded to large differences in modelled stirring power requirements and mixing efficiency. The results indicated that fluids with high values of rheological parameters, such as the consistency index (K) or yield stress (τ0), would likely require more power or an adapted stirring system to achieve complete mixing. The substrates generally contributed more to the rheology characteristics of the anaerobic sludge than microbial cells on their own. Trace element-induced process disturbance initially led to the inhibition of specific microbial groups among methanogenic archaea or their syntrophic partners, which later escalated to broader inhibition of many microbial groups due to the accumulation of fermentation products. This resulted in microbial cell washout with a corresponding decrease of the contribution of the cells to anaerobic sludge rheology. A recovery of the thermophilic anaerobic digestion process was possible after the supplementation of selenium and tungsten was increased, resulting in increased propionate turnover rates, growing cell densities, and higher viscosity. Major shifts in the methanogenic community were observed, corresponding to the level of process stability. It could be concluded based on these experiments that the specific effect of microbial cells and their activity on sludge rheology were linked to cell density, which corresponded to process stability.

    A conceptual scheme was developed based on the studies in this thesis, defining complex interactions between substrate, microbial metabolism, and anaerobic sludge rheology in biogas processes. The possible causes of rheology shifts are visualised and discussed.

1 - 4 of 4
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