Enhanced production of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) from sewage sludge by β-cyclodextrin

Xue Yang, Maoan Du, Duu Jong Lee, Chunli Wan, Lina Zheng, Guanyuan Li, Jo Shu Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Organic matter in sewage sludge can be converted into volatile fatty acids (VFAs) as renewable carbon sources. This work for the first time demonstrates that β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) molecules enhance sludge hydrolysis for production of VFAs. With 0.2gβ-CDg -1 dried solids (DSs), the increment rate for VFAs peaked at 4200gg -1DSsg -1 β-CD, with acetate and propionate as the predominant VFAs. Compositional and microbial community analyses confirm that the β-CD molecules break a cell's membrane, such that it releases intracellular substances. Although β-CD molecules inhibited activities of methanogens, they did not impair those of acid-forming bacteria, thereby demonstrating that β-CD-assisted VFAs are renewable organic carbon sources, except in anaerobic digestion processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-691
Number of pages4
JournalBioresource technology
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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