Wastes from the personal care product (PCP) industry are often high in biodegradable carbon, which makes them amenable to aerobic biological treatment, although process costs are usually high due to aeration inefficiencies, high electricity demand and production of large amounts of sludge. As such, anaerobic treatment technologies are being considered to lower net energy costs by reducing air use and increasing methane production. To assess the amenability of PCP wastes to anaerobic treatment, methane yields and rates were quantified in different anaerobic reactors treating typical PCP wastes, including wastes from shampoo and hair colorant products. Overall, shampoo wastes were more amenable to methanogenesis with almost double the methane yields compared with colour wastes. To assess relevant microbial guilds, qPCR was performed on reactor biomass samples.
Keywords: anaerobic waste treatment, industrial wastes, methanogenesis, personal care products