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Science of The Total Environment
Volume 779, 2021, 146195

Tonalide facilitates methane production from anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge

Zhiren Cao1, Xiaoding Huang1, You Wu, Dongbo Wang, Wenjie Du, Jiamin Zhang, Qi Yang, Zhe Kuang, Zhuo Chen, Xiaoming Li

College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, PR China.


Tonalide (AHTN), a typical polycyclic musk and an emerging pollutant, was found to be enriched in waste activated sludge (WAS). However, the research of its effect on WAS anaerobic digestion was seldom available. This research therefore investigated the effect of AHTN on WAS anaerobic digestion and the underlying mechanism through batch experiments using either real WAS or synthetic wastewaters as the digestion substrates. The results indicated that when the concentration of AHTN increased from 0 to 1000 mg/kg TSS in WAS, the methane production increased linearly from 125.0 ± 2.2 to 162.9 ± 1.6 mL/g VSS, while the AHTN concentration further increased to 2000 mg/kg TSS, the methane production decreased to 146.2 ± 2.1 mL/g VSS. At the same time AHTN can facilitate the utility of volatile fatty acid (VFAs), especially acetate and propionate. It was further found that the degradation efficiency of AHTN in anaerobic digestion was 42.7%. The mechanism investigation demonstrated that AHTN can promote the solubilization, homoacetogenesis, acetogenesis and methanogenesis processes, leading to an increase in methane production. Further analysis revealed that methanogenic archaea mainly belonged to the genera of Methanosaeta and Metheanobacterium, and their relative abundance increased accordingly with the addition of AHTN.

Keywords: Tonalide, Waste active sludge, Anaerobic digestion, Methane production, Microbial community.

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