Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Process Engineering, Biotechnology, Nutrition Technology
Summary After elucidating the composition of an anaerobic bacterial enrichment culture treating sulphite evaporator condensate (SEC), an effluent in the pulp and paper industry, we built up stepwise a defined mixed culture to convert the organic constituents of SEC (acetate, methanol, furfural) to methane and CO2. In batch cultures Desulfovibrio furfuralis and Methanobacterium bryantii degraded furfural in the absence of sulphate via inter-species H2 transfer yielding 0.42 mol methane and 1.87 mol acetate/mol furfural degraded. When Methanosarcina barkeri was added to this diculture, acetate was also transformed to methane yielding 0.93 mol methane/mol acetate converted. This consortium (D. furfuralis, Methanobacterium bryantii and Methanosarcina barkeri) degraded furfural in continuous culture (fixed-bed loop reactor) to 92%, but the conversion of acetate was only 67%. The conversion of acetate could be further improved to 86% by adding 10 mm sulphate to the medium. This resulted in a space time yield of 10.9 g chemical oxygen demand (COD)/1 per day for the overall conversion. With a consortium consisting of M. barkeri, Methanobrevibacter arboriphilus, Methanosaeta concilii and D. furfuralis, a synthetic SEC could be degraded at a space time yield of 13.35 g COD/1 per day. This defined culture degraded all the constituents of SEC at an efficiency of almost 90% compared to an enrichment culture under identical conditions.
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