Encapsulation technology for decentralized brewery wastewater treatment: A small pilot experiment

Siming Chen, William Arnold, Natasha Wright, Kuang Zhu, Olutooni Ajayi, Paige Novak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The feasibility of implementing encapsulation technology for the biological anaerobic treatment of high-strength wastewater was investigated. The small pilot-scale wastewater treatment process, deployed at a local brewery, consisted of a 4-L fermenting first-stage reactor containing alginate-encapsulated fermenting microorganisms and a 30-L methanogenic second-stage reactor containing alginate-encapsulated anaerobic digester sludge (CH4E reactor). A parallel second-stage 30-L anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) was operated for comparison. The first-stage reactor produced 40.4 ± 47.3% more volatile fatty acids than present in the influent wastewater. The CH4E reactor stared rapidly, with an off-gas methane content >60% after 14 days. It took >1 month for the AnMBR to achieve this performance. Nevertheless, the CH4E reactor performance declined relative to the AnMBR over time. This was thought to be a result of encapsulant leakage and the encapsulation of a non-ideal initial community. Further optimization is needed, but encapsulation shows promise for small-footprint anaerobic biological treatment applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126435
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume347
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project is funded by the University of Minnesota through the MnDRIVE: Environment Initiative and the Mechanical Engineering Department. The authors would like to express sincere thanks to Fulton Brewing for their support of this project. The authors also want to thank Adam Sealock and George Sprouse from Metropolitan Council for their help with anaerobic digester sludge collection. Finally, the authors also thank undergraduate research assistants Karen Cook and Bumsoo Kim for their help with sample analysis and encapsulant preparation.

Funding Information:
This project is funded by the University of Minnesota through the MnDRIVE: Environment Initiative and the Mechanical Engineering Department. The authors would like to express sincere thanks to Fulton Brewing for their support of this project. The authors also want to thank Adam Sealock and George Sprouse from Metropolitan Council for their help with anaerobic digester sludge collection. Finally, the authors also thank undergraduate research assistants Karen Cook and Bumsoo Kim for their help with sample analysis and encapsulant preparation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Anaerobic membrane bioreactor
  • Brewery wastewater
  • Decentralized wastewater treatment
  • Encapsulation technology

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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