Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 19, pp 19434–19444 | Cite as

Feasibility of anaerobic digestion on the release of biogas and heavy metals from rice straw pretreated with sodium hydroxide

  • Liqing Xin
  • Zhaohui GuoEmail author
  • Xiyuan Xiao
  • Chi Peng
  • Peng Zeng
  • Wenli Feng
  • Wenxuan Xu
Research Article


The feasibility of anaerobic digestion on the release of biogas and heavy metals from contaminated rice straw pretreated with NaOH solution was studied. The results show that NaOH pretreatment can significantly boost the release of biogas and heavy metals from rice straw using anaerobic digestion. Under the optimal conditions for biomass pretreated 6% (w/w) NaOH with a solid-to-solution ratio of 1:20, total biogas and methane yields of 446.3 mL/g and 263.5 mL/g volatile solids were achieved, which were 22.18% and 41.59% higher than those of the control without NaOH pretreatment, respectively, and the release percentages of Cd, Pb, Cu, and Zn from rice straw reached 86.95–97.69%. The release of heavy metals from rice straw can contribute to both the degradation of lignin by NaOH pretreatment and the utilization/transformation of lignocellulose via anaerobic digestion. The acidification levels and total volatile fatty acid contents significantly influence on the release of heavy metals. Based on the Illumina HiSeq sequencing analysis, the dominant phyla in the biogas residues were proteolytic (Bacteroidetes) and hydrogen-producing (Firmicutes) bacteria, while the growth of Methanospirillum and Methanosaeta in anaerobically digested effluent was promoted. The results revealed that anaerobic digestion combined with NaOH pretreatment is suitable for the disposal of heavy metal–contaminated biomass.


Rice straw NaOH pretreatment Anaerobic digestion Heavy metals Microbial community 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21577176), the Hunan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 2018JJ4018), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central University of Central South University (No. 2018zzts057).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_5195_MOESM1_ESM.docx (73 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 72 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Environmental Engineering, School of Metallurgy and EnvironmentCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China

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