Kinetics of propionate conversion in anaerobic continuously stirred tank reactors

Henrik Bangsø Nielsen, Zuzana Mladenovska, Birgitte Kiær Ahring

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The kinetic parameters of anaerobic propionate degradation by biomass from 7 continuously stirred tank reactors differing in temperature, hydraulic retention time and substrate composition were investigated. In substrate-depletion experiments (batch) the maximum propionate degradation rate, A(max), and the half saturation constant, K-m, were initially estimated by applying the integrated Michaelis-Menten equation. A(max) was in the range from 22.8 to 29.1 mu mol gVS(-1) h(-1) while K-m, was in the range from 0.46-0.95 mM. In general, A(max) gave a good reflection of the reactor performances. Secondly, the accuracy of the applied method was evaluated by use of radiotracer methodology. A(max) was found to be 14-157 lower in the substrate-depletion experiment than in the radioisotope experiment due to endogenous propionate production. By including the endogenous propionate production, a 42-49% lower K-m, was estimated. The results demonstrate that the rate of endogenous substrate (propionate) production should be taken into account when estimating kinetic parameters in biomass from manure-based anaerobic reactors.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironmental Technology
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)151-160
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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