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The effect of substrate to inoculum ratios on the anaerobic digestion of human faecal material

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Technology and Innovation
Volume3
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)121-129
Publication statusPublished
Early online date11/03/15
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The anaerobic digestion (AD) of human faecal material (HFM) was investigated to consider the effect different substrate to inoculum ratios (SIR) from 0.5 to 4on the rate and extent of methane production as well as impact on pathogen numbers. The AD process was monitored by measuring pH, total volatile fatty acid, bicarbonate alkalinity, ammonium and methane production. The results showed that the highest amounts of methane production with a value of 254.4 ±12.6 ml CH4gV S−1added and highest pathogen removal with a value of 2.7×104±40 and 2.5×103±0.5 CFU/ml, respectively, for E.coli and faecal coliform bacteria was achieved by the 0.5 SIR incubation. However, the highest organic loading found in the 4.0SIR incubation showed the lowest methane yield with a value of110 ±1.3 ml CH4gV S−1added and the lowest pathogen removal with a value of 3.2×105±19 and 3.2×104±3.5 CFU/ml, respectively for E.coli and faecal coliform bacteria. The empirical equation was used to calculate the theoretical methane and compare this with the actual values of methane production. The relatively high methane conversion efficiency between theoretical and actual values for 0.5 SIR, further suggest that this operational condition was the most effective.