Prediction of bio-methane potential and two-stage anaerobic digestion of starfish.
The present work reports the first ever evaluation of the biological CH4 potential (BMP) of starfish, classified as invasive species. Since starfish contain a large amount of inorganic matter, only the supernatant obtained through grinding and centrifugation was used for BMP test. By applying response surface methodology, the individual and interactive effects of three parameters, inoculum/substrate ratios, substrate concentrations, and buffer capacities on CH4 production were investigated, and the maximum CH4 yield of 334 mL CH4/g COD was estimated. In addition, continuous CH4 production was attempted using a two-stage (acidogenic sequencing batch reactor+methanogenic up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASBr)) fermentation process. Acidification efficiency was maximized at 2 days of hydraulic retention time with valerate, butyrate, and acetate as main acids, and these were converted to CH4 with showing 296 mL CH4/g CODadded. Overall, the two-stage fermentation process could convert 44% of organic content in whole starfish to CH4.