The effect of natural and modified zeolites on the anaerobic degradation of acetate and methanol was evaluated by the determination of specific methane productivity (SMP) in batch minidigesters of 50 mL at doses of 0.01, 0.05 and 0.1 g of zeolite/g of VSS. The effects of the different zeolite concentrations were determined by the results of the SMP. A kinetic characterization with data of accumulated methane gas volume was also carried out. In the second phase of the study, the effects of natural and nickel zeolite concentrations were tested with piggery waste in laboratory scale digesters of 2.5 L operating at semi continuous mode, by increasing the organic load applied from 0.2 to 22.0 g TCOD/d corresponding to organic loading rates (OLR) of 0.1-8.8 g TCOD/l.d. A greater effect of modified zeolite on SMP was observed, with an increase of 8.5 times with magnesium zeolite, 4.4 times with cobalt zeolite and 2.8 times with nickel zeolite. Two phases were defined in the kinetic study and an increase of more than 2 times the apparent constant of digesters with modified zeolites was observed in the second phase when compared to unmodified natural zeolite. Modified natural zeolite addition to digesters can allow an increase in the potential biodegradability of piggery waste solid fraction and/or a considerable reduction of digestion volume.

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