Textile wet processing wastewater (e.g., from cotton desizing) contains high concentrations of surfactants as well as readily biodegradable compounds like starch and other carbohydrates. Decyl sulfate (DS, surfactant) and soluble starch were used as model pollutants for biodegradation batch experiments. Very high loadings of the biomass were applied (DS: 21.7–217 g/kg cell dry weight (CDW); starch: 910 g/kg cell dry weight) to study inhibitory effects of the surfactant on the degradation cascade of the biopolymer. The starch hydrolysis was inhibited above sludge loadings of 65 g DS/kg CDW. Acidogenesis was the degradation step with the highest resistance towards inhibitory effects of the surfactant, whereas methanogenesis proved to be the most sensitive. The effects of the surfactant were described by the change of the methane evolution, which was reduced by 50% in 87 days with an addition of 58 g DS/kg CDW. The surfactant caused a high temporary accumulation of intermediates like volatile fatty acids. At the highest loading (217 g DS/kg CDW) the conversion of the substrate to methane was only minor.
Bioresource Technology – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2002
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