Microbial community response to ammonia levels in hydrogen assisted biogas production and upgrading process

Han Wang, Xinyu Zhu, Qun Yan, Yifeng Zhang*, Irini Angelidaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Biological conversion of carbon dioxide into methane using hydrogen derived from surplus renewable energy (wind power) as reducing power is a novel technology for biogas upgrading. High ammonia concentrations are toxic to the biogas upgrading process, however the mechanisms behind the inhibition as well as the microbial stress response in such unique upgrading system have never been reported. Thus, the effect of high ammonia concentrations on microbial community during hydrogen induced biogas upgrading process was evaluated here. The results showed that a change from aceticlastic pathway to hydrogenotrophic pathway occurred when ammonia level increased (1-7 g NH4+-N L-1). In addition, the bacteria, potentially syntrophic associated with hydrogenotrophic methanogens, were enriched at high ammonia concentrations. Moreover, growth of some bacteria (e.g., Halanaerobiaceaeen and Leucobacter) which were vulnerable to ammonia toxicity was restored upon hydrogen injection. Furthermore, hydrogen injection under high ammonia concentration could promote growth of some hydrolytic and fermentative bacteria.
Original languageEnglish
Article number122276
JournalBioresource Technology
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biogas upgrading
  • Microbial community
  • Ammonia inhibition
  • Hydrogenotrophic methanogens


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