In the present study the bioconversion of dried household food waste (FORBI) to energy carriers was investigated aiming to its sustainable management and valorization. FORBI was either directly fermented towards ethanol and hydrogen or was previously subjected to extraction with water resulting to a liquid fraction (extract) rich in sugars and a solid residue, which were then fermented separately. Subsequently, the effluents were assessed as substrates for methane production via anaerobic digestion (AD). Mono-cultures and co-cultures of C5 and C6 yeasts were used for the alcoholic fermentation whereas for the production of hydrogen, mixed acidogenic consortia were used. Taking into account the optimum yields of biofuels, the amount of recoverable energy was estimated based for each different approach. The maximum ethanol yield was 0.16g ethanol per kg of FORBI and it was achieved for separate fermentation of liquid and solid fractions of the waste. The highest hydrogen yield that was observed was 210.44L±4.02 H2/kg TS FORBI for 1% solids loading and supplementation with cellulolytic enzymes. Direct AD of either the whole FORBI or its individual fractions led to lower overall energy recovery, compared to that obtained when fermentation and subsequent AD were applied. The recoverable energy was estimated for the different exploitation approaches of the waste. The maximum achieved recoverable energy was 21.49±0.57MJ/kg.

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