The anaerobic digestion of the organic fraction of municipal solid wastes is taking increasing importance in the recent years. The main problem of some anaerobic digestion process is the large quantity of ammonia that is released, especially when high solid digestion is implemented. A fraction of the supernatant is treated and the remaining is recirculated to maintain the reactor in the optimum solids concentration. The question arising is if this recirculation stream should also be treated to improve biogas production. However, when doing the latter the quantity of ammonia inside the reactor increases too which could lead to inhibit the reactor operation. In this paper it appears that not only free ammonia affects the methanogenic fermentation but also ammonium ion concentration. Biogas production profiles are estimated using the Gompertz model. On the other hand, inhibition constants are fitted using a non-competitive inhibition model equation Thus, 50% inhibition of biomethane production was observed at level of 215 and 468 mg NH3_N/L under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. However, the methane generation under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions was reduced by 50% when ammonium ion reach concentrations of 3,860 and 5,600 mg NH4+_N/L respectively. Under mesophilic conditions, pH higher than 7 impacted the methanogens bacteria negatively. This threshold pH limit, is variable under thermophilic conditions, depending on the total ammonia concentration.
- high solid anaerobic digestion
- © IWA Publishing 2009