An investigation into the effect of ferric chloride (FeCl3) on the disinhibition of excessive volatile fatty acids (VFAs) in sludge thermophilic anaerobic digestion (AD) system was performed. The optimum dosing time of FeCl3was tested with the time interval of 0h, 36h, 72h, 108h and 144h. The maximum biogas production was obtained in the case of 72nd hour dosing group, and the biogas production potential was 293.13±11.38mL/gVS based on modified Gompertz predicted model with the maximum rate of 8.55±0.38mL/(gVSday), which was triple as that in the control group. More biodegradable organic matters were generated from sludge with FeCl3additive and then consumed efficiently according to excitation-emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectra analysis in the dissolved organic matter (DOM). Acetic acid was the main inhibitor and synthetic effects occurred for the disinhibition of excessive VFAs with the additive of FeCl3, except to direct removal of acetic acid in the system.
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