The feasibility of hydrogen generation from palm oil mill effluent (POME), a high strength wastewater with high solid content, was evaluated in an anaerobic sequencing batch reactor (ASBR) using enriched mixed microflora, under mesophilic digestion process at 37 °C. Four different hydraulic retention times (HRT), ranging from 96 h to 36 h at constant cycle length of 24 h and various organic loading rate (OLR) concentrations were tested to evaluate hydrogen productivity and operational stability of ASBR. The results showed higher system efficiency was achieved at HRT of 72 h with maximum hydrogen production rate of 6.7 LH2/L/d and hydrogen yield of 0.34 LH2/g CODfeeding, while in longer and shorter HRTs, hydrogen productivity decreased. Organic matter removal efficiency was affected by HRT; accordingly, total and soluble COD removal reached more than 37% and 50%, respectively. Solid retention time (SRT) of 4–19 days was achieved at these wide ranges of HRTs. Butyrate was found to be the dominant metabolite in all HRTs. Low concentration of volatile fatty acid (VFA) confirmed the state of stability and efficiency of sequential batch mode operation was achieved in ASBR. Results also suggest that ASBR has the potential to offer high digestion rate and good stability of operation for POME treatment.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/marzieh_badiei/1/