Acidogenic fermentation of source separated mixtures of vegetables and fruits wasted from supermarkets

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A pilot scale mesophilic anaerobic acidogenic fermenter was fed with mixtures of vegetables and fruits shredded by a hammer mill and mixed in a stock tank, in order to produce a liquid phase suitable as RBCOD source in denitrification and EBPR processes. Different operative conditions were studied working with a HRT in the range 1–12 days. The effluent coming from the fermenter was screw pressed, and the solid phase was recycled adopting different ratios to the fermenter, in order to define its effect on the final liquid phase composition. The variations of the VFA, lactate, methyl and ethyl alcohol concentrations, TCOD, SCOD and pH during more than one year were analysed and discussed both with reference to the fresh feed, and to the content of the fermenter. It was found that almost all the organic matter in the liquid phase inside the fermenter was represented by VFA (mainly acetate), lactate (in particular) and methyl and ethyl alcohols when HRT was longer than 6 days.

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