Lactic acid and methane: Improved exploitation of biowaste potential

G. Dreschke, M. Probst, A. Walter, T. Pümpel, J. Walde, H. Insam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


This feasibility study investigated a two-step biorefining approach to increase the value gained by recycling of organic municipal solid waste. Firstly, lactic acid was produced via batch fermentation at 37°C using the indigenous microbiome. Experiments revealed an optimal fermentation period of 24h resulting in high yields of lactic acid (up to 37gkg-1). The lactic acid proportion of total volatile fatty acid content reached up to 83%. Lactobacilli were selectively enriched to up to 75% of the bacterial community. Additionally conversion of organic matter to lactic acid was increased from 22% to 30% through counteracting end product inhibition by continuous lactic acid extraction. Secondly, fermentation residues were used as co-substrate in biomethane production yielding up to 618±41Nmlbiomethaneg-1 volatile solids. Digestate, the only end product of this process can be used as organic fertilizer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalBioresource Technology
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Biogas potential
  • Fermentation
  • Lactobacillus
  • Municipal organic solid waste
  • Waste treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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