Publication
Title
Capture-ferment-upgrade : a three-step approach for the valorization of sewage organics as commodities
Author
Abstract
This critical review outlines a roadmap for the conversion of chemical oxygen demand (COD) contained in sewage to commodities based on three-steps: capture COD as sludge, ferment it to volatile fatty acids (VFA), and upgrade VFA to products. The article analyzes the state-of-the-art of this three step approach and discusses the bottlenecks and challenges. The potential of this approach is illustrated for the European Union's 28 member states (EU-28) through Monte Carlo simulations. High-rate contact stabilization captures the highest amount of COD (66-86 g COD person equivalent(-1) day(-1) in 60% of the iterations). Combined with thermal hydrolysis, this would lead to a VFA-yield of 23-44 g COD person equivalent(-1) day(-1). Upgrading VFA generated by the EU-28 would allow, in 60% of the simulations, for a yearly production of 0.2-2.0 megatonnes of esters, 0.7-1.4 megatonnes of polyhydroxyalkanoates or 0.6-2.2 megatonnes of microbial protein substituting, respectively, 20-273%, 70-140% or 21-72% of their global counterparts (i.e., petrochemical-based esters, bioplastics or fishmeal). From these flows, we conclude that sewage has a strong potential as biorefinery feedstock, although research is needed to enhance capture, fermentation and upgrading efficiencies. These developments need to be supported by economic/environmental analyses and policies that incentivize a more sustainable management of our resources.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Environmental science and technology / American Chemical Society. - Easton, Pa
Publication
Washington : Amer chemical soc , 2018
ISSN
0013-936X [print]
1520-5851 [online]
Volume/pages
52 :12 (2018) , p. 6729-6742
ISI
000436018900004
Pubmed ID
29772177
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 10.07.2018
Last edited 20.09.2021
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