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Unveiling the mechanisms of Fe(III)-loaded chitosan composite (CTS-Fe) in enhancing anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge


Zhenya Zhang , Boaiqi Zhang , Ziwen Zhao , Rui Ma , Nan Chen , Zhe Kong , Zhongfang Lei

DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2023.04.001

Received February 06, 2023,Revised , Accepted April 03, 2023, Available online April 10, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 200-211

Anaerobic digestion (AD) of waste activated sludge (WAS) is usually limited by the low generation efficiency of methane. Fe(III)-loaded chitosan composite (CTS-Fe) have been reported to effectively enhanced the digestion of WAS, but its role in promoting anaerobic sludge digestion remains unclear. In present study, the effects of CTS-Fe on the hydrolysis and methanogenesis stages of WAS anaerobic digestion were investigated. The addition of CTS-Fe increased methane production potential by 8%–23% under the tested conditions with the addition of 5–20 g/L CTS-Fe. Besides, the results demonstrate that the addition of CTS-Fe could effectively promote the hydrolysis of WAS, evidenced by lower protein or polysaccharides concentration, higher soluble organic carbon in rector adding CTS-Fe, as well as the increased activity of extracellular hydrolase with higher CTS-Fe concentration. Meanwhile, the enrichment of Clostridia abundance (iron-reducing bacteria (IRBs)) was observed in CTS-Fe adding reactor (8.9%–13.8%), which was higher than that in the control reactor (7.9%). The observation further suggesting the acceleration of hydrolysis through dissimilatory iron reduction (DIR) process, thus providing abundant substrates for methanogenesis. However, the presence of CTS-Fe was inhibited the acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis process, which could be ascribed to the Fe(III) act as electron acceptor coupled to methane for anaerobic oxidation. Furthermore, coenzyme F420 activity in the CTS-Fe added reactor was 34.9% lower than in the blank, also abundance of microorganisms involved in hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis was decreased. Results from this study could provide theoretical support for the practical applications of CTS-Fe.

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