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Environmental Engineering Research 2022;27(6): 210317 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2021.317
Simultaneous effect of cathode potentials and magnetite concentrations on methanogenesis of acetic acid under different ammonia conditions
Arma Yulisa1, Joonyeob Lee2, Sang Hyeok Park1, and Seokhwan Hwang1,3 
1Division of Environmental Science and Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Gyeongbuk 37673, Republic of Korea
2Department of Environmental Engineering, Pukyong National University, Busan 48513, Republic of Korea
3Institute for Convergence Research and Education in Advanced Technology (I-CREATE), Yonsei University, Incheon 21983, Republic of Korea
Corresponding Author: Seokhwan Hwang ,Tel: +82-54-279-2282, Fax: +82-54-279-8299, Email: shwang@postech.ac.kr
Received: July 6, 2021;  Accepted: November 24, 2021.
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Electromethanogenesis (EM) is a system that facilitates direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) in anaerobic digestion (AD) by providing an external power supply to favor desired reactions. Substrates of AD commonly contain ammonia (NH3) as biodegradation product of nitrogen-rich compounds that can deteriorate the stability of AD process. Optimized cathode potential (VCAT) and magnetite (Mag) concentration ([Mag]) are expected to improve AD efficiency in the presence of NH3. Response surface analysis with central composite face-centered design was used in this study to investigate the effect of VCAT and [Mag] under different total ammonia nitrogen concentration ([TAN]). Highest cumulative methane production was achieved at VCAT = -737.4 mV, [Mag] = 18.2 mM, and [TAN] = 1.5 g/L; highest acetate degradation rate was achieved at VCAT = 757.6 mV, [Mag] = 21.4 mM, and [TAN] = 1.5 g/L. The study demonstrated that VCAT promotes either microbial growth or electrochemical NH3 removal. A Shift from acetoclastic to hydrogenotrophic pathway was also observed by the increase of hydrogenotrophic methanogen populations at the end of experiment. This study is beneficial for process control of AD under different NH3 conditions.
Keywords: Ammonia | Anaerobic digestion | Central composite face-centered | Electromethanogenesis | Magnetite
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