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Organic Waste to Resources Research and Pilot Project Report: Biodiesel and Biohydrogen Co-Production with Treatment of High Solid Food Waste

Publication number Date Published
09-07-065September 2009
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Author(s) Yubin Zheng, Jingwei Ma, Zhanyou Chi, and Shulin Chen
Description Organic Waste to Resources Research and Pilot Project Report. Great public and development interest exists in potential use of biofuel for transportation. The goal of this project was to evaluate possibilities converting food waste to biohydrogen and yeast as biodiesel feedstock through biological processing. The project results contribute to technology development and technical data for policy making in developing Washington’s bioeconomy using the available low-cost organic resources. A two-step process was developed in this project as a potential technology to produce hydrogen and biodiesel feedstock using the food waste. The first step of this process is dark fermentative hydrogen production, in which the fermentative bacteria use glucose derived from waste carbon to produce hydrogen and volatile fatty acids (VFA; e.g. acetate or butyrate). One third of the carbon is converted to carbon dioxide in the first-step while two thirds of the carbon is converted to VFA. In the second step, carbon in the form of VFA is used to feed yeast for simultaneous carbon sequestration and production of biodiesel feedstock from the oil-enriched microbial biomass.
The work conducted in this project proved the concept with laboratory scale experiments. Further study needs to be conducted to scale up this process and assess its economical viability.
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Keywords organics, beyond waste
WEB PAGE Organic Materials Management