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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Volatile fatty acids production via mixed culture fermentation: Revealing the link between pH, inoculum type and bacterial composition

Atasoy, Merve; Eyice, Ozge; Schnurer, Anna; Cetecioglu, Zeynep


The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of operational parameters, inoculum type and bacterial community on mixed culture fermentation to produce one dominant acid type in the mixture of volatile fatty acids (VFA). The study was performed using three different inocula (large&small granular and slurry) with glucose under various initial pH. The VFA production efficiency reached to 0,97 (gCOD/gSCOD) by granular sludge. VFA composition was changed by initial pH: in neutral conditions, acetic acid; in acidic conditions, acetic and butyric acids, in alkali conditions butyric acid were dominated, respectively. The VFA production was positively affected by the high relative abundance of Firmicutes. On the contrary, a negative correlation was seen between VFA production and the relative abundance of Chloroflexi. The results revealed the physical sludge structure of inoculum was the key factor for production efficiency, whereas, pH was the most important parameter to affect VFA composition.


Volatile fatty acids; pH; Sludge structure; Bacterial community; Mixed culture fermentation

Published in

Bioresource Technology
2019, Volume: 292, article number: 121889

    Associated SLU-program

    Food Waste

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

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