Effect of source separated human urine as buffering agent compared to sodium bicarbonate and water in anaerobic co-digestion of lignocellulosic biomass and poultry feces was evaluated in laboratory scale reactor for 180 days at 37 ± 2°C. Mean biogas volume ranged from 37 ± 8 to 101 ± 18 mL gVS-1 in the urine buffered reactors which was 1-5 times higher than the bicarbonate and water buffered reactors and the difference was significant at p = 0. 05. Total volatile fatty acids (VFA) concentration ranged between 396 and 1,400 mg L-1 with a pH of 6.9 ± 0.3 and 7.8 ± 0.1, respectively. In contrast, VFA concentration ranged between 386 and 3,109 mg L-1 (pH 7.6 ± 0.2 and 4.8 ± 0.4) in sodium bicarbonate buffered digestate and control (water) respectively. The result indicates buffering capacity of urine on anaerobic co-digestion with positive effect on biogas production. The Archaeal isoprenoids included markers of aceticlastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogens with a relative abundance that ranged between 0.71-18, 3-55, and 2-59 μg g-1 dry matter in the water (control), bicarbonate and urine buffered digestate, respectively. The Archaeal abundance was 1.12 and 6 times higher in the combined female/male urine than the bicarbonate buffered digestate and the control, and the difference was significant at p = 0.05. Overall, this study demonstrates that human urine with no pharmaceutical loadings as a wetting and buffering agent is a promising option for anaerobic co-digestion with competitive edge over sodium bicarbonate on lignocellulosic biomass saccharification for enhanced biogas production.
Eduok, S., John, O., Ita, B., Inyang, E., & Coulon, F. (2018). Enhanced biogas production from anaerobic co-digestion of lignocellulosic biomass and poultry feces using source separated human urine as buffering agent. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 6(JUL). https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2018.00067