Photoenhanced Anaerobic Digestion of Organic Acids
U.S. Patent 4,919,813
Technology Description A process is described for rapid conversion of organic acids and alcohols anaerobic digesters into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, the optimal precursor substrates for production of methane. The process includes addition of photosynthetic bacteria to the digester and exposure of the bacteria to radiant energy (e.g., solar energy). The process also increases the pH stability of the digester to prevent failure of the digester. Preferred substrates for photosynthetic bacteria are the organic acid and alcohol waste products of fermentative bacteria. In mixed culture with methanogenic bacteria or in defined co-culture with non-aceticlastic methanogenic bacteria, photosynthetic bacteria are capable of facilitating the conversion or organic acids and alcohols into methane with low levels of light energy input.
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