Formation of phenylacetic acid and phenylpropionic acid under different overload conditions during mesophilic and thermophilic anaerobic digestion

Published on 2019-02-10T05:00:00Z (GMT) by
Abstract Background Substrate spectra for anaerobic digestion have been broadened in the past decade, inter alia, due to the application of different pretreatment strategies and now include materials rich in lignocellulose, protein, and/or fat. The application of these substrates, however, also entails risks regarding the formation of undesired by-products, among which phenolic compounds are known to accumulate under unfavorable digestion conditions. Methods Different states of overload were simulated in batch experiments while reviewing the generation of phenyl acids out of different lab-use substrates in order to evaluate the impact on biogas and methane production as well as some additional process performance parameters under defined laboratory conditions. Investigations were conducted under both mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. Results It could be shown that the tested input materials led to the formation of phenyl acids in a substrate-dependent manner with the formation itself being less temperature driven. Once formed, the formation of phenyl acids turned out to be a reversible process. Conclusions Although a mandatory negative impact of phenyl acids per se on the anaerobic digestion process in general and the methanogenesis process in particular could not be proven, phenyl acids, however, seem to play an important role in the microbial response to overloaded biogas systems.

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Wagner, Andreas; Prem, Eva; Markt, Rudolf; Kaufmann, RĂźdiger; Illmer, Paul (2019): Formation of phenylacetic acid and phenylpropionic acid under different overload conditions during mesophilic and thermophilic anaerobic digestion. figshare. Collection.