Impact of leachate recirculation and recirculation volume on stabilization of municipal solid wastes in simulated anaerobic bioreactors
The effects of leachate recirculation and the recirculation rate on the anaerobic treatment of domestic solid waste was investigated in three simulated landfill anaerobic bioreactors. A single pass reactor was operated without leachate recirculation while the other two reactors were operated with leachate recirculation. The leachate recirculation rate was 9 l/day (13% of the reactor volume) in Reactor9, while the recirculation rate was 21 l/day (30% of the reactor volume), in Reactor21. pH, chemical oxygen demand (COD), volatile fatty acids (VFA), ammonium–nitrogen (NH4–N) total and methane gas measurements in leachate samples were regularly monitored. After 220 days of anaerobic incubation, it was observed that the pH, COD, VFA concentrations, methane gas productions and methane percentages in Reactor9 were better than the single pass reactor and Reactor21. When the leachate recirculation rate was increased to three times a decrease in pH, and an increase in VFA and COD concentrations were observed in Reactor21. The COD values were measured as 47 000, 39 000 and 52 000 mg/l while the VFA concentrations were 15 000, 13 000 and 21 000 mg/l, respectively, in single pass, Reactor9 and Reactor21 after 220 days of anaerobic incubation. The values of pH were 5.89, 6.44 and 6.16, respectively, after anaerobic incubation. The mean methane percentages of single pass reactor, Reactor9 and Reactor21 were 30, 50 and 40%, respectively, after 50 days of incubation. Leachate recirculation reduced the waste stabilization time and was effective in enhancing methane gas production and improving leachate. However, leachate recirculation was not effective in removing ammonia from the leachate. The amounts of COD recovered by methane were 62.9, 162.3 and 94.6 g for single pass, Reactor9 and Reactor21, respectively, at the end of 220 days of anaerobic incubation.
Journal: Process Biochemistry - Volume 39, Issue 12, 29 October 2004, Pages 2157–2165