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Biorefinery pp 437-460 | Cite as

Anaerobic Thermophilic Mixed Culture Fermentation Processes

  • Fang ZhangEmail author
  • Raymond Jianxiong Zeng
Chapter

Abstract

Advantageous properties, such as higher hydrogen production, high substrate degradation rate, and efficient heat utilization for the treatment of hot wastewater, favor the thermophilic mixed culture fermentation (MCF) over mesophilic MCF. In this chapter, the typical metabolic reactions in thermophilic MCF are summarized in Sect. 2 according to the multistep process of hydrolysis/acidogenesis, acetogenesis/homoacetogenesis, and methanogenesis. The operational conditions, such as pH, H2 partial pressure, and reactor configuration, may change the microbial community or the metabolic pathway in thermophilic MCF and are reviewed in Sect. 3. Lastly, the metabolites both in the headspace and in liquid solutions are always a mixture in thermophilic MCF, which have to be concentrated and purified before utilization. There are several conventional technologies to separate the metabolites and recover energy, including biogas upgrading, two-stage fermentation, gas stripping, electrodialysis (ED), and microbial fuel cells. These typical technologies, along with other novel technologies, such as production of sole metabolite and medium-chain carboxylic acids production, are reviewed in Sect. 4. The energy cost of thermophilic biogas plants was estimated as just 10% of the energy produced, which implies that the extra energy cost for operating at a thermophilic temperature is marginal. Therefore, the coupling of the process and development of novel technologies are necessary in thermophilic MCF to promote its worldwide application.

Keywords

Thermophilic mixed culture fermentation Metabolic pathway Operational factors Metabolite separation and purification Biorefinery 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51408530, 50978244, and 51478447), Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province (E2015203306), Foundation of Hebei Education Department (BJ2017014), and the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Soil Environmental Health and RegulationCollege of Resources and Environment, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouChina

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