The accumulation of volatile fatty acids and phenols through a pH-controlled fermentation of olive mill solid waste

Francisco Cabrera, Antonio Serrano, Álvaro Torres, Guillermo Rodriguez-Gutierrez, DAVID ALEJANDRO JEISON NUÑEZ, Fernando G. Fermoso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This work aims to compare the use of olive mill solid waste as substrate in pH-controlled fermentation at acid (pH = 5), neutral (uncontrolled, pH ≈ 7) and alkaline (pH = 9) operating pH levels. The results obtained in this study indicate that operating pH strongly affected the anaerobic microorganisms and, hence, different target compounds could be obtained by adjusting the operating pH. Fermentation at neutral pH resulted in the conversion of 93.5% of the fed chemical oxygen demand to methane. However, fermentations at pH 5 and 9 resulted in the inhibition of the methanogenic activity. At pH 9, volatile fatty acids reached a maximum concentration of 3.69 g O 2 /L, where acetic acid represented up to 79.3% of the total volatile fatty acids. Unlike volatile fatty acid production, an optimal operation of fermentation at pH 5 could allow the recovery of phenols such as vanillin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1501-1507
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume657
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Acidic conditions
  • Alkaline conditions
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Hydrolysis
  • Methanogenesis

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