Electronic Journal of Biotechnology
versión On-line ISSN 0717-3458
Two continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTRs) each fed with palm oil mill effluent (POME), operated at 37ºC and 55ºC, respectively, were investigated for their performance under varies organic loading rates (OLRs). The 37ºC reactor operated successfully at a maximum OLR of 12.25 g[COD]/L/day and a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 7 days. The 55ºC reactor operated successfully at the higher loading rate of 17.01 g[COD]/L/day and had a HRT of 5 days. The 37ºC reactor achieved a 71.10% reduction of chemical oxygen demand (COD), a biogas production rate of 3.73 L of gas/L[reactor]/day containing 71.04% methane, whereas the 55ºC reactor achieved a 70.32% reduction of COD, a biogas production rate of 4.66 L of gas/L[reactor]/day containing 69.53% methane. An OLR of 9.68 g[COD]/L/day, at a HRT of 7 days, was used to study the effects of changing the temperature by 3ºC increments. The reactor processes were reasonably stable during the increase from 37ºC to 43ºC and the decrease from 55ºC to 43ºC. When the temperature was increased from 37ºC to 46ºC, the total volatile fatty acid (TVFA) concentration and biogas production was 2,059 mg as acetic acid/L and 1.49 L of gas/L[reactor]/day at day 56, respectively. When the temperature was reduced from 55ºC to 40ºC, the TVFA concentration and biogas production was 2,368 mg as acetic acid/L and 2.01 L of gas/L[reactor]/day at day 102, respectively. By first reducing the OLR to 4.20 g[COD]/L/day then slowly increasing the OLR back to 9.68 g[COD]/L/day, both reactors were restored to stable conditions at 49ºC and 37ºC respectively. The initial 37ºC reactor became fully acclimatized at 55ºC with an efficiency similar to that when operated at the initial 37ºC whereas the 55ºC reactor also achieved stability at 37ºC but with a lower efficiency
Palabras clave : hydraulic retention times; mesophilic reactor; methane; organic loading rate; temperature variations; thermophilic reactor; volatile fatty acids.