Slow degradation of swine wastewater mainly due to the particulate and recalcitrant organic matters is a main disadvantage of anaerobic digestion leading to very long solids retention time. Therefore, to accelerate hydrolysis known as the rate-limiting step of the overall digestion process, chemical treatment processes under various acidic and alkaline conditions as well as enzymatic treatment processes using cellulase and protease enzymes were tested for the hydrolysis of the swine wastewater. The effectiveness of various treatment processes was compared mainly by means of an increment of soluble organics in the treated swine wastewater. Among various treatment processes tested in this study, cellulase enzymatic treatment resulted in the most efficient hydrolysis of the swine wastewater. For the cellulase enzymatic hydrolysis, the observed hydrolytic constant value was 0.42 d−1 and 26.6% of soluble organics in the swine wastewater increased within 12 hr. Compared to untreated swine wastewater, pre-treated swine wastewater by cellulase enzymatic process showed 10.7% higher anaerobic digestibility at the end of 20 d incubation and 29% higher initial methane production rate. These results further confirmed the transformation of particulate and recalcitrant organic compounds in the swine wastewater into soluble and relatively easily biodegradable organic products by the cellulase enzymatic hydrolysis.

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