Improved Recovery of Overloaded Anaerobic Batch Reactors by Graphene Oxide

Ponzelli, Michele
Nguyen, Hieu
Drewes, Jörg E.
Koch, Konrad
Anaerobic digestion reactors may suffer from acidification when overloading occurs. Carbon-based materials are amended to mitigate the souring effects of excessive loading. This study aims to test if graphene oxide (GO) helps overloaded anaerobic reactors recover faster. Batch tests were conducted following a fed-batch strategy at different GO levels (0, 10, and 20 mg GO per g of volatile solid (VS)) and different inoculum substrate ratios (ISRs) of 2, 1, and 0.75 based on VS. While an ISR of 2 was initially applied, the ISR was decreased to 1 and 0.75 in two parallel sets of experiments to simulate overloading conditions at the fourth feeding cycle. Lastly, an ISR of 2 was restored in all assays. First-order model kinetic constants confirmed a significant (p < 0.05) effect by GO from the third feed on. Although the GO-amended assays did not alleviate the acidification effects, during the final phase the kinetic constants reached values similar to or even above the controls (without GO). Moreover, a GO concentration up to 20 mgGO/gVS had no impact on FOS/TAC. Overall, this study broadens the understanding of the design and operation of anaerobic reactors amended with GO ​
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