Microbial community structure related to process conditions: a challenge for improving performance of anaerobic digesters

    Project Details


    Anaerobic digestion is a technology for producing renewable energy as methane, used widely in the EU. Anaerobic degradation of organic matter is a complex process mediated by microbial communities. The process can be affected by many factors, including operational conditions and feed composition. The microbes mediating the process have generally been well described in terms of phylogeny and function. However, the link between microbial populations, operational parameters, and anaerobic reactors performance is not well established. This link can be used for development of strategies aiming to improve the anaerobic digestion process.Optimization of anaerobic digestion process is expecting to result in considerable reduction of environmental pollution combined with increase in renewable energy production. It will make contributions to the objectives of the overall EU research program, human society, industry, and natural sciences in general.
    The overall goal of the project proposed is to relate the microbial community composition to biogas reactor process parameters in order to improve anaerobic digesters performance. More specifically we will:
    - identify the key microorganisms mediating the anaerobic digestion in variety of biogas producing systems;
    - elucidate the influence of process parameters on the microbial diversity;
    - use structured mathematical modeling for quantitatively assessment of the link between microbial community structure and operational conditions;
    - identify microbial markers for best digesters performance with respect to maximal
    biogas production and organic matter removal;
    - develop and demonstrate the practical applicability of a strategy for improvement of anaerobic digestion process performance via manipulation of microbial community composition in biogas reactors.
    The project aims will be achieved by laboratory work and data collection through the industrial contacts of the applicant which will promote future collaboration between the applicant and cooperative partners throughout the Europe.
    Effective start/end date01/01/200831/12/2010


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