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Characterization of Lactose Consumption during the Biogas Production from Acid Whey by FT-IR Spectroscopy

Authors: K. Rugele, M. Gavare, M. Grube, K. Tihomirova, E. Skripsts, S. Larsson, J. Rubulis


The consumption of lactose in acid cheese whey anaerobic fermentation process under fed-batch conditions was studied. During fermentation for 100 hours the biogas production (CO2 and CH4) was analyzed online. Among the standard analyses FT-IR spectroscopy was used to follow the consumption of lactose by bacteria. The absorption bands at 990, 894 and 787 cm-1 in the 2nd derivative spectra were shown to be characteristic for lactose and were used to follow the lactose conversion. It was shown that acid cheese whey lactose was converted by bacteria in first 7 hours. In the spectra of 17, 18 and 95 hour fermentation samples lactose was not identified and these results correlated with the HPLC data.

Keywords: Acid whey, anaerobic digestion, biogas, FT-IR spectroscopy, lactose consumption.

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