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Bioresource Technology
Vol. 211, 2016, Pages: 685–690

Short-chain fatty acids production and microbial community in sludge alkaline fermentation: Long-term effect of temperature

Yue Yuan, Ye Liu, Baikun Li, Bo Wang, Shuying Wang, Yongzhen Peng


Sludge alkaline fermentation has been reported to achieve efficient short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) production. Temperature played important role in further improved SCFAs production. Long-term SCFAs production from sludge alkaline fermentation was compared between mesotherm (30 ± 2 °C) and microtherm (15 ± 2 °C). The study of 90 days showed that mesotherm led to 2.2-folds production of SCFAs as microtherm and enhanced the production of acetic acid as major component of SCFAs. Soluble protein and carbohydrate at mesotherm was 2.63-folds as that at microtherm due to higher activities of protease and α-glucosidase, guaranteeing efficient substrates to produce SCFAs. Illumina MiSeq sequencing revealed that microtherm increased the abundance of CorynebacteriumAlkaliflexusPseudomonas and Guggenheimella, capable of enhancing hydrolysis. Hydrolytic bacteria, i.e. AlcaligenesAnaerolinea and Ottowia, were enriched at mesotherm. Meanwhile, acidogenic bacteria showed higher abundance at mesotherm than microtherm. Therefore, enrichment of functional bacteria and higher microbial activities resulted in the improved SCFAs at mesotherm.

Keywords: Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs); Waste activated sludge (WAS); Alkaline fermentation; Mesotherm and microtherm; Microbial community; Enzyme activity.

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