Enhanced anaerobic fermentation with azo dye as electron acceptor: Simultaneous acceleration of organics decomposition and azo decolorization

Yang Li , Yaobin Zhang , Xie Quan , Jingxin Zhang , Shuo Chen , Shahzad Afzal


Received November 24, 2013,Revised January 10, 2014, Accepted , Available online October 22, 2014

Volume 26,2014,Pages 1970-1976

Accumulation of hydrogen during anaerobic processes usually results in lowdecomposition of volatile organic acids (VFAs). On the other hand, hydrogen is a good electron donor for dye reduction, which would help the acetogenic conversion in keeping low hydrogen concentration. The main objective of the study was to accelerate VFA composition through using azo dye as electron acceptor. The results indicated that the azo dye serving as an electron acceptor could avoid H2 accumulation and accelerate anaerobic digestion of VFAs. After adding the azo dye, propionate decreased from 2400.0 to 689.5 mg/L and acetate production increased from 180.0 to 519.5 mg/L. It meant that the conversion of propionate into acetate was enhanced. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed that the abundance of propionate-utilizing acetogens with the presence of azo dye was greater than that in a reference without azo dye. The experiments via using glucose as the substrate further demonstrated that the VFA decomposition and the chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal increased by 319.7 mg/L and 23.3% respectively after adding the azo dye. Therefore, adding moderate azo dye might be a way to recover anaerobic system from deterioration due to the accumulation of H2 or VFAs.

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