Bioresource Technology, Vol.171, 323-329, 2014
Improving production of volatile fatty acids from food waste fermentation by hydrothermal pretreatment
Food waste (FW) was pretreated by a hydrothermal method and then fermented for volatile fatty acid (VFAs) production. The soluble substance in FW increased after hydrothermal pretreatment (<= 200 degrees C). Higher hydrothermal temperature would lead to mineralization of the organic compounds. The optimal temperature for organic dissolution was 180 degrees C, at which FW dissolved 42.5% more soluble chemical oxygen demand than the control. VFA production from pretreated FW fermentation was significantly enhanced compared with the control. The optimal hydrothermal temperature was 160 degrees C with a VFA yield of 0.908 g/g VSremoval. Butyrate and acetate were the prevalent VFAs followed by propionate and valerate. FW fermentation was inhibited after 200 degrees C pretreatment. The VFAs were extracted from the fermentation broth by liquid-liquid extraction. The VFA recovery was 50-70%. Thus, 0.294-0.411 g VFAs could be obtained per gram of hydrothermally pretreated FW (in dry weight) by this method. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.