Bioresource Technology, Vol.231, 129-137, 2017
Enhancing biomethanogenic treatment of fresh incineration leachate using single chambered microbial electrolysis cells
Methanogenic treatment of municipal solid waste (MSW) incineration leachate can be hindered by high concentrations of refractory organic matter and humification of compounds in the leachate. In an attempt to overcome some of these impediments, microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) were incorporated into anaerobic digesters (ADMECs). COD removal efficiencies and methane production were 8.7% and 44.3% higher in ADMECs than in controls, and ADMEC reactors recovered more readily from souring caused by high organic loading rates. The degradation rate of large macromolecules was substantially higher (96% vs 81%) in ADMEC than control effluent, suggesting that MECs stimulated degradation of refractory organic matter and reduced humification. Exoelectrogenic bacteria and microorganisms known to form syntrophic partnerships were enriched in ADMECs. These results show that ADMECs were more effective at treatment of MSW incineration leachate, and should be taken into consideration when designing future treatment facilities. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.