Application of enzymes in anaerobic digestion

Bochmann, G.; Herfellner, T.; Susanto, F.; Kreuter, F.; Pesta, G.
November 2007
Water Science & Technology;2007, Vol. 56 Issue 10, p29
Owing to the very low economic value of brewer's spent grains, its utilisation for biogas production is very promising. The hydrolysis of ligno-cellulose is the rate limiting step in anaerobic digestion. Enzymatic pre-treatment promotes the hydrolysis of ligno-cellulose, breaking it down to lower molecular weight substances which are ready to be utilised by the bacteria. A cheap raw multi-enzyme produced by a solid state fermentation (SSF) process is a good substitute for expensive conventional enzyme. The SSF enzyme application to spent grain has been investigated by carrying out enzymatic solubility tests, hydrolytic experiments and two-step anaerobic fermentation of spent grain. Gas chromatograph analysis was conducted to quantify fatty acids concentrations, while CH4 CO2 O2 H2 and H2S were measured to determine biogas quality by means of a gas analyser. DS, oDS, pH were also measured to analyse the anaerobic digestion. The result shows that enzyme application promotes the hydrolysis of ligno-cellulose, indicated by higher enzymatic solubility and fatty acid concentration in a hydrolytic bioreactor. Moreover, biogas production is also increased. The quality of the gases produced is also enhanced. Since the anaerobic digestion can be operated in a stable performance, it can also be concluded that SSF enzyme is compatible with anaerobic digestion.


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