Investigation of the optimal carbon–nitrogen ratio and carbohydrate–nutrient blend for mixed-acid batch fermentations Academic Article uri icon


  • To determine the optimal scenario for mixed-acid fermentations, an array of batch fermentations were performed that independently varied the C/N ratio (adjusted using urea) and the blend of carbohydrate (office paper) and nutrient (wet chicken manure (CM)). A blend of 93% paper and 7% wet CM (dry basis) with a C/N ratio of 37 g C(NA)/gN had the highest culture yield (0.21 g acid(produced) /g NAVS(initial)), total acid productivity (0.84 g acid(produced)/(L(liq)d)), and conversion (0.43 g NAVS(consumed)/g NAVS(initial)). Compared to a control blend of 80% paper and 20% wet CM (dry basis, no urea) the culture yield, productivity, and conversion improved 53%, 44%, and 70%, respectively. Selectivity was a strong function of C/N ratio and varied from 0.167 to 0.667 acid(produced)/g NAVS(consumed). Nitrogen supplementation with urea improves performance and reduces costs of (1) capital, (2) nutrients, and (3) downstream processing by reducing impurities from nutrient-rich wastes (e.g., manures, sewage sludge).

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, A. D., & Holtzapple, M. T.

citation count

  • 19

publication date

  • March 2011