Effect of tryptone and ammonia on the biogas process in continuously stirred tank reactors treating cattle manure

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2007

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Two themophilic continuously stirred tank reactors, R1 and Two thermophilic continuously stirred tank reactors, R1 and R2, were subject to pulses of tryptone and ammonia. R1 was operated at an ammonia-N concentration of 3.0 g l(-1) and R2 was operated at an ammonia-N concentration of 1.7 g l(-1). Shock loads of tryptone (10 g l(-1),10 g l(-1), 15 g l(-1)) had an immediate stimulating effect on methanogenesis for both reactors illustrated by significant peaks in methane production but also led to an organic overloading illustrated by a steep increase in volatile fatty acids (VFA) concentration. Three days after the pulses a second peak in acetate concentration and a decrease in methane production indicated an ammonia-inhibition of the acetoclastic methanogens. During the pulses of tryptone the performance of R1 was slightly more affected than R2. Pulses of ammonia (0.79 g l(-1) as N) resulted in a decrease in methane production of both reactors but no immediate increases in VFA concentrations was observed illustrating that the ammonia inhibition during this experiment was an overall inhibition of the biogas process and not only an inhibition of the methanogens.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Technology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)905-914
StatePublished - 2007


  • protein degradation, VFA dynamics, ammonia inhibition, process imbalance
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ID: 3020543