The Potentiality of Municipal Solid Waste to Produce Volatile Fatty Acids (VFAs)
Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) are proposed platform molecules for the production of basic chemicals and polymers from organic waste streams. A simple bio-reactor was fabricated with locally available materials to conduct this study. A lab-scale anaerobic batch reactor was fed with potato waste and banana waste as substrate to find out the potential organic waste that has maximum VFAs production capacity. Between these two wastes, banana waste was found better for VFAs production. The product spectrum remained similar at the pH range 4.0-4.5 but higher pH reduced the VFAs production. The operation of anaerobic digestion with uncontrolled pH reduced the pH 4.0 to 4.5. Therefore, it is better to run the anaerobic digestion without controlling the pH while aiming to VFAs production. A small amount nutrient (ammonium nitrogen) significantly increases the VFAs production but higher amount nutrient has an inhibition effect. However commercial surfactant has a strong inhibition effect on VFAs producing organism and hence reduced the VFAs production. The efficient production of VFA at uncontrolled pH with a small amount of ammonium nitrogen increases the economic feasibility of organic waste-based VFAs production.
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