IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 2998: Effect of Zn Addition on the Cd-Containing Anaerobic Fermentation Process: Biodegradation and Microbial Communities (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Anaerobic fermentation is considered as a cost-effective way of biomass waste disposal. However, the compound heavy metals contained in the biomass may induce complex effects on anaerobic fermentation, which limit the utilization of metal-contaminated biowaste. In this study, the impacts of Cd and Zn addition on biogas properties, process stability, substrate biodegradation, enzyme activity, and microbial properties were studied. The results showed that the addition of Cd together with Zn (Cd+Zn) increased the maximum daily and cumulative biogas yields, and brought forward the gas production peak compared with the Cd-added group. Taking the whole fermentation process into account, the promotion effects of adding Zn into the Cd-containing fermentation system on biogas yields were mainly attributable to better process stability, higher average NH4+-N concentration in the later stage of fermentation, reduced COD (p < 0.05), and increased biodegradability of lignocelluloses (p < 0.01), especially cellulose (p < 0.05) and lignin (p < 0.01). Meanwhile, the addition of Zn promoted the coenzyme M activity (p < 0.05), and increased the absolute abundance of Methanothermobacter. The bacteria communities during the fermentation process were responsible for the degradation of lignocelluloses. The results demonstrated that the addition of appropriate Zn into the Cd-containing fermentation system enhanced the efficiency of anaerobic fermentation and utilization of biowaste.