Limiting factors for anaerobic digestion of olive mill wastewater blends under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions

  • Demetrio Antonio Zema Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria, Italy.
  • Giovanni Zappia Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria, Italy.
  • Souraya Benalia | soraya.benalia@unirc.it Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria, Italy. http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7046-9678
  • Giuseppe Zimbalatti Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria, Italy.
  • Enzo Perri Centro di ricerca per l’olivicoltura e l’industria olearia (CREA-OLI), Rende (CS), Italy.
  • Elena Urso Centro di ricerca per l’olivicoltura e l’industria olearia (CREA-OLI), Rende (CS), Italy.
  • Vincenzo Tamburino Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria, Italy.
  • Bruno Bernardi Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria, Italy.

Abstract

Experimental trials of anaerobic digestion of olive mill wastewater (OMW) blended with other agro-industrial by-products were carried out to evaluate biogas production and sensitivity of the process to inhibiting compounds. Blends containing different percentages of OMW, digested liquid manure, and citrus peel were subjected to a batch anaerobic digestion process under both mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. The results showed that blends with percentages of OMW higher than 20% (v/v) had low methane yields due high concentrations of polyphenols (PPs) and/or volatile fatty acids (concentrations above 0.8 g kg–1 and 2.4 g L–1, respectively). The addition of other substrates such as citrus peel may have induced synergic inhibiting effects of PPs and essential oils (EO) on microbial growth. Thermophilic processes were more sensitive to these inhibiting compounds than mesophilic processes. The results of this study suggest that reducing PPs and EO concentrations in blends subject to anaerobic digestion below the inhibiting concentrations of 0.6 g L–1 and 0.5 g kg–1, respectively, is suitable. Additionally, it is advisable to maintain the volatile fatty acids content below 2 g L–1 to avoid its evident toxic effects on the growth of microorganisms in biochemical processes.

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Published
2018-02-19
Section
Original Articles
Keywords:
Agro-industrial by-product, anaerobic digestion, biogas, inhibiting compounds, methane yield, polyphenols.
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How to Cite
Zema, D. A., Zappia, G., Benalia, S., Zimbalatti, G., Perri, E., Urso, E., Tamburino, V., & Bernardi, B. (2018). Limiting factors for anaerobic digestion of olive mill wastewater blends under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 49(2), 130-137. https://doi.org/10.4081/jae.2018.792

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