New research article by Peces et al. 2020

Exploring the potential of co-fermenting sewage sludge and lipids in a resource recovery scenario

In this study, co-fermentation of primary sludge (PS) or waste activated sludge (WAS) with lipids was explored to improve volatile fatty acid production. PS and WAS were used as base substrate to facilitate lipid fermentation at 20 °C under semi-aerobic conditions. Mono-fermentation tests showed higher VFA yields for PS (32–89 mgCOD gVS−1) than for WAS (20–41 mgCOD gVS−1) where propionate production was favoured. The principal component analysis showed that the base substrate had a notable influence on co-fermentation yields and profile. Co-fermentation with WAS resulted in a greater extent of oleic acid degradation (up to 4.7%) and evidence of chain elongation producing valerate. The occurrence of chain elongation suggests that co-fermentation can be engineered to favour medium-chain fatty acids without the addition of external commodity chemicals. BMP tests showed that neither mono-fermentation nor co-fermentation had an impact on downstream anaerobic digestion.

Peces et al. 2020