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  • 1
    ISSN: 0006-3592
    Keywords: methanogenic population dynamics ; anaerobic digesters ; solid waste ; biosolids ; Chemistry ; Biochemistry and Biotechnology
    Source: Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
    Topics: Biology , Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
    Notes: An aggressive start-up strategy was used to initiate codigestion in two anaerobic, continuously mixed bench-top reactors at mesophilic (37°C) and thermophilic (55°C) conditions. The digesters were inoculated with mesophilic anaerobic sewage sludge and cattle manure and were fed a mixture of simulated municipal solid waste and biosolids in proportions that reflect U.S. production rates. The design organic loading rate was 3.1 kg volatile solids/m3/day and the retention time was 20 days. Ribosomal RNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes were used to determine the methanogenic community structure in the inocula and the digesters. Chemical analyses were performed to evaluate digester performance. The aggressive start-up strategy was successful for the thermophilic reactor, despite the use of a mesophilic inoculum. After a short start-up period (20 days), stable performance was observed with high gas production rates (1.52 m3/m3/day), high levels of methane in the biogas (59%), and substantial volatile solids (54%) and cellulose (58%) removals. In contrast, the mesophilic digester did not respond favorably to the start-up method. The concentrations of volatile fatty acids increased dramatically and pH control was difficult. After several weeks of operation, the mesophilic digester became more stable, but propionate levels remained very high. Methanogenic population dynamics correlated well with performance measures. Large fluctuations were observed in methanogenic population levels during the start-up period as volatile fatty acids accumulated and were subsequently consumed. Methanosaeta species were the most abundant methanogens in the inoculum, but their levels decreased rapidly as acetate built up. The increase in acetate levels was paralleled by an increase in Methanosarcina species abundance (up to 11.6 and 4.8% of total ribosomal RNA consisted of Methanosarcina species ribosomal RNA in mesophilic and thermophilic digesters, respectively). Methanobacteriaceae were the most abundant hydrogenotrophic methanogens in both digesters, but their levels were higher in the thermophilic digester. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Biotechnol Bioeng 57: 342-355 1998.
    Additional Material: 2 Ill.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1572-9699
    Keywords: Anaerobic digesters ; methanogens ; oligonucleotide probes ; 16s rRNA ; sulfate-reducing bacteria ; two-phase digestion
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract The microbial community structure of twenty-one single-phase and one two-phase full-scale anaerobic sewage sludge digesters was evaluated using oligonucleotide probes complementary to conserved tracts of the 16S rRNAs of phylogenetically defined groups of methanogens and sulfate-reducing bacteria. These probe results were interpreted in combination with results from traditional chemical analyses and metabolic activity assays. It was determined that methanogens in “healthy” mesophilic, single-phase sewage sludge digesters accounted for approximately 8–12% of the total community and thatMethanosarcinales andMethanomicrobiales constituted the majority of the total methanogen population.Methanobacteriales andMethanococcales played a relatively minor role in the digesters. Phylogenetic groups of mesophilic, Gram-negative sulfate-reducing bacteria were consistently present at significant levels:Desulfovibrio andDesulfobulbus spp. were the dominant sulfate-reducing populations,Desulfobacter andDesulfobacterium spp. were present at lower levels, andDesulfosarcina, Desulfococcus, andDesulfobotulus spp. were absent. Sulfate reduction by one or more of these populations played a significant role in all digesters evaluated in this study. In addition, sulfate-reducing bacteria played a role in favoring methanogenesis by providing their substrates. The analysis of the two-phase digester indicated that true phase separation was not accomplished: significant levels of active methanogens were present in the first phase. It was determined that the dominant populations in the second phase were different from those in the single-phase digesters.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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