Regulation of hydraulic retention time on caproic acid production via two-phase anaerobic fermentation of Chinese cabbage waste with autopoietic electron donors

Ranran Chen, Xiaofeng Ji, Zhengang Chen,Liu Huang,Jiying Zhu


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The effects of hydraulic retention time (HRT) on the performance of two-phase anaerobic fermentation for caproic acid production from Chinese cabbage waste (CCW) were investigated. In the electron donor phase, yeast was inoculated to achieve efficient autopoietic ethanol, providing electron donors for the chain elongation process. Shorter HRT led to drastic fluctuations in microorganisms, thus resulting in lower acid yields at HRT of 6 days. At HRT of 10 days, the balanced collaboration of various key bacteria avoided the accumulation of intermediate by-products, and the caproic acid production reached 4660 mg COD/L, which was 119.5% and 154.8% higher than that at HRTs of 6 and 14 days, respectively. At HRT of 14 days, the low ethanol loading rate resulted in ethanol excessive-oxidation to acetic acid. Acetic acid accounted for 41.5% of the total product, while the selectivity of caproic acid was only 15.3%. The main contributor to the production process of caproic acid was Caproiciproducens, while the Ruminalococcaceae also played a role in the process. This study provided a theoretical basis for the efficient production of caproic acid through continuous fermentation with autopoietic electron donors.
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Key words
Hydraulic retention time,Chinese cabbage waste,Caproic acid,Ethanol,Autopoietic electron donors,Two-phase anaerobic fermentation
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