To test whether hyperthermophilic treatment promotes polylactide (PLA) dissolution and methane conversion under anaerobic digestion conditions, a single thermophilic control reactor (55 °C) and a two-phase system consisting of a hyperthermophilic reactor (80 °C) and a thermophilic reactor (55 °C) were continuously fed with a mixture of PLA and artificial kitchen garbage. In Runs 1 and 2, the PLA dissolution ratios in the two-phase system were 79.2 ± 6.5% and 85.2 ± 7.0%, respectively, higher than those of the control. Batch experimental results indicated that hyperthermophilic treatment could promote PLA dissolution to a greater degree as compared with single thermophilic treatment and that ammonia addition also had a promotional effect on PLA dissolution. In the two-phase system, after hyperthermophilic treatment, dissolved PLA was converted to methane gas under the subsequent thermophilic condition.
Keywords: anaerobic digestion, biodegradation, hyperthermophilic condition, polylactide (PLA), thermophilic condition