WIT Press

Production Of Biosurfactants In Batch Reactor For Food Waste Composting


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WIT Press


B Y Zhang, G H Huang, B Chen, Q Guo & G M Zeng


Production of biosurfactants in batch reactor for food waste composting B. Y. Zhang, G. H. Huang, B. Chen, Q. Guo, and G.M. Zeng China-Canada Center of Energy and Environment Research, Hunan University, China and Faculty of Engineering, University of Regina, Canada Abstract Biosurfactants produced by microbial activities may potentially enhance solid waste composting. A study was performed to characterize the production of biosurfactants and the enhancement of food waste composting process in a batch reactor. Production of biosurfactants was examined on the basis of surface tension values. Experimental results indicated that biosurfactants could be produced by microorganisms during composting and enhance microbial activities of food waste. After separated from food waste, the produced biosurfactants were degraded by microorganisms naturally within 24 hours. Based on experimental results, certain relationship between surfactants and composting progress was also disclosed. 1 Introduction Microbial activities were performed in a layer of liquid film at the surface of solid waste particles during composting processes [1], which indicates the physicochemical conditions around the liquid film have great effects on composting efficiency. Many traditional techniques including the control of C/N, humidity, oxygen, temperature and porosity in the composting system were used to improve conditions of the microenvironment for enhancing the degrading efficiency [2]. However, details about the related mechanism are not well studied and more effective methods that can ameliorate the physicochemical conditions