Bioaugmentation with an acetate-oxidising consortium as a tool to tackle ammonia inhibition of anaerobic digestion

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    Abstract

    Ammonia is the major inhibitor of anaerobic digestion (AD) process in biogas plants. In the current study, the bioaugmentation of the ammonia tolerant SAO co-culture (i.e. Clostridium ultunense spp. nov. in association with Methanoculleus spp. strain MAB1) in a mesophilic up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor subjected to high ammonia loads was tested. The co-cultivation in fed-batch reactors of a fast-growing hydrogenotrophic methanogen (i.e. Methanoculleus bourgensis MS2T) with the SAO co-culture was also investigated. Results demonstrated that bioaugmentation of SAO co-culture in a UASB reactor was not possible most likely due to the slow maximum growth rate (μmax=0.007h-1) of the culture caused by the methanogenic partner. The addition of M. bourgensis to SAO led to 42% higher growth rate (μmax=0.01h-1) in fed-batch reactors. This indicates that methanogens were the slowest partners of the SAO co-culture and therefore were the limiting factor during bioaugmentation in the UASB reactor. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBioresource Technology
    Volume146
    Pages (from-to)57-62
    ISSN0960-8524
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Keywords

    • Ammonia
    • Batch reactors
    • Cultivation
    • Methanogens
    • Volatile fatty acids
    • Anaerobic digestion

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