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Topic "How do we give value to our waste?"

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Produce organic acids

The valorization of residual household waste by acidogenic fermentation allows the production of high value-added compounds such as organic acids. The latter are recognized as important building blocks in terms of their potential as renewable carbon sources that can feed green chemistry for various applications.The use of percolating bed reactor is relevant in view of the high solids content of the substrate. However, the waste bed is a complex and heterogeneous porous medium. The objective of the research work carried out within the Symbiosis team is to understand the processes i/ on the one hand of acidogenic fermentation by studying the effect of several parameters (selection and inoculation of microorganisms, pH, solids content) on the production and the type of acids produced and ii/ on the other hand to characterize the hydrodynamics within the percolating bed reactors and thus to evaluate the distribution of the water within the porous medium The objective of this work is to develop an integrated process for the production of organic acids and alcohols.

Ongoing projects



The project has determined the process parameters to optimize the production of organic acids from biowaste and limit the production of methane. For this purpose, different pH and inoculation conditions were compared. The distribution of the leachate within the residue mass and the management of its recirculation were studied and modeled to predict the extraction of the molecules of interest from the solid phase to the liquid phase. The impact of the leachate composition on the extraction of molecules was also studied.

  • Funding : Carnot Institute 3BCAR
  • Budget : de 170 000 euros
  • Partners: TBI, LBE, LGC, CRITT GPTE.
  • Publication : Digan, Laura, Pierre Horgue, Gérald Debenest, Simon Dubos, Sébastien Pommier, Etienne Paul, et Claire Dumas. « An improved hydrodynamic model for percolation and drainage dynamics for household and agricultural waste beds ». Waste Management 98 (1 octobre 2019): 69‑80.