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Journal of Environmental Management
Volume 305, 2022, 114384

Strategy of optimizing anaerobic digestion of cassava distiller wastewater using a novel automatic biological incubation system

Chenjie Wua,b, Qingken Jianga,b, Pesce Lucianod, Yan Suna,b, Yaguang Dua,b, Tian C. Zhangc, Dongyun Dua,b

Key Laboratory of Catalysis Conversion and Energy Materials Chemistry, Ministry of Education, PR China.


Due to the drawbacks of using fossil fuels and the need to mitigate global warming caused by increasing greenhouse gas emissions, agricultural biomass for bioenergy production is gaining great interest around the world. This work presented a study at a biochemical plant in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, China to maximize methane production from cassava distiller wastewater. The plant's annual production of cassava distiller wastewater is more than 3 million tons and currently was treated using a series of 5000 m3 Internal Circulation (IC) reactors. Modification was applied at No.19 IC reactor by connecting it to two 1 m3 automatic biological incubators called Information Bio-Booster (IBB). The effluent of the IC reactor was fed into the IBBs and iron, cobalt and nickel were added directly in the IBBs. The function of the IBBs was to regulate the microbial community. Afterwards, the microorganisms in the IBBs were pumped back into the IC reactor to participate in the methane production reaction. Daily net increase of methane content and COD removal reached 8.02% and 33% respectively in No.19 IC reactor comparing to the unadjusted reactors. Preliminary lab experiments found that improvements of biogas production, enhanced COD removal and VS removal was closely related to the enhancement of anaerobic microbial communities' diversity and the promotion of enzyme activity through the addition of the metal salts. Daily economic value could be estimated to be $218 which indicated the application potential of using the proposed system to enhance anaerobic digestion at industrial plants for bioenergy production.

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