Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 172, Issue 8, pp 3862–3874 | Cite as

Evaluation of the Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Sewage Sludge and Tomato Waste at Mesophilic Temperature

  • Siham Belhadj
  • Yassine Joute
  • Hassan El Bari
  • Antonio Serrano
  • Aida Gil
  • José Á. Siles
  • Arturo F. Chica
  • M. Ángeles MartínEmail author


Sewage sludge is a hazardous waste, which must be managed adequately. Mesophilic anaerobic digestion is a widely employed treatment for sewage sludge involving several disadvantages such as low methane yield, poor biodegradability, and nutrient imbalance. Tomato waste was proposed as an easily biodegradable co-substrate to increase the viability of the process in a centralized system. The mixture proportion of sewage sludge and tomato waste evaluated was 95:5 (wet weight), respectively. The stability was maintained within correct parameters in an organic loading rate from 0.4 to 2.2 kg total volatile solids (VS)/m3 day. Moreover, the methane yield coefficient was 159 l/kg VS (0 °C, 1 atm), and the studied mixture showed a high anaerobic biodegradability of 95 % (in VS). Although the ammonia concentration increased until 1,864 ± 23 mg/l, no inhibition phenomenon was determined in the stability variables, methane yield, or kinetics parameters studied.


Sewage sludge Tomato waste Mesophilic anaerobic co-digestion Methane yield Organic loading rate 



The authors are very grateful to the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation for co-funding this research through Project CTM2011-26350 and to the AECID for the economic support through the Projects D/024687/09, D/030888/10, and A1/039699/11.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siham Belhadj
    • 1
  • Yassine Joute
    • 1
  • Hassan El Bari
    • 1
  • Antonio Serrano
    • 2
  • Aida Gil
    • 2
  • José Á. Siles
    • 2
  • Arturo F. Chica
    • 2
  • M. Ángeles Martín
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology and Quality, Faculty of SciencesUniversity Ibn Tofail (Morocco)KenitraMorocco
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Engineering, Campus Universitario de RabanalesUniversity of Cordoba (Spain)CordobaSpain

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