Oxygen effects in anaerobic digestion - a review
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionThe Open Waste management Journal 4 (2011) s.1-19 http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1876400201104010001
This article reviews the experimental and theoretical studies conducted on the possible effects of oxygen in biogas generating anaerobic digesters. The interactions of oxygen with various biochemical processes associated with anaerobic digestion are discussed together with other relevant aspects. The conventional perception of oxygen being merely toxic in anaerobic digestion (AD) is refuted. Digesters can withstand significant levels of oxygenation without drastic negative impacts. Limited quantities of oxygen can even lead to improved AD reactor performance under certain operating conditions. Co-existence of anaerobic and aerobic cultures in a single bioreactor environment has been demonstrated. It is shown that the partial aeration assisted AD can serve as a beneficial treatment strategy for simultaneous waste treatment and energy generation, for a multitude of organic waste categories.