Electrolysis-Enhanced Anaerobic Digestion of Wastewater

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2011.02.097
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Journal titleBioresource Technology
Pages56855691; # of pages: 7
SubjectWater electrolysis; Anaerobic digestion; Methanogenesis; Micro-aerobic
AbstractThis study demonstrates enhanced methane production from wastewater in laboratory-scale anaerobic reactors equipped with electrodes for water electrolysis. The electrodes were installed in the reactor sludge bed and a voltage of 2.8-3.5V was applied resulting in a continuous supply of oxygen and hydrogen. The oxygen created micro-aerobic conditions, which facilitated hydrolysis of synthetic wastewater and reduced the release of hydrogen sulfide to the biogas. A portion of the hydrogen produced electrolytically escaped to the biogas improving its combustion properties, while another part was converted to methane by hydrogenotrophic methanogens, increasing the net methane production. The presence of oxygen in the biogas was minimized by limiting the applied voltage. At a volumetric energy consumption of 0.2-0.3Wh/LR, successful treatment of both low and high strength synthetic wastewaters was demonstrated. Methane production was increased by 10-25% and reactor stability was improved in comparison to a conventional anaerobic reactor.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Biotechnology Research Institute
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number53352
NPARC number17906262
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Record identifier661ded85-d26b-443f-b1e0-0a50bde3c9ff
Record created2011-07-01
Record modified2017-03-23
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