Anaerobic treatment of Tequila vinasses under seasonal operating conditions: Start-up, normal operation and restart-up after a prolonged starvation period

J.A. Jáuregui-Jáuregui
H.O. Méndez-Acosta
V. González-Álvarez
R. Snell-Castro
V. Alcaraz-González
Revista y/o libro: 
Bioresource Technology
168, 33-40
This study examines the performance of an anaerobic fixed-film bioreactor under seasonal operating conditions prevailing in medium and small size Tequila factories: start-up, normal operation and particularly, during the restart-up after a long stop and starvation period. The proposed start-up procedure attained a stable biofilm in a rather short period (28 days) despite unbalanced COD/N/P ratio and the use of non-acclimated inoculum. The bioreactor was restarted-up after being shut down for 6 months during which the inoculum starved. Even when biofilm detachment and bioreactor clogging were detected at the very beginning of restart-up, results show that the bioreactor performed better as higher COD removal and methane yield were attained. CE-SSCP and Q-PCR analyses, conducted on the biofilm prokaryotic communities for each operating condition, confirmed that the high COD removal results after the bioreactor clogging and the severe starvation period were mainly due to the stable archaeal and resilient bacterial populations.