Microbial population dynamics in urban organic waste anaerobic co-digestion with mixed sludge during a change in feedstock composition and different hydraulic retention times

Temesgen Mathewos Fitamo, Laura Treu, Alessio Boldrin, Cristina Sartori, Irini Angelidaki, Charlotte Scheutz

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Abstract

Microbial communities play an essential role in the biochemical pathways of anaerobic digestion processes. The correlations between microorganisms' relative abundance and anaerobic digestion process parameters were investigated, by considering the effect of different feedstock compositions and hydraulic retention times (HRTs). Shifts in microbial diversity and changes in microbial community richness were observed by changing feedstock composition from mono-digestion of mixed sludge to co-digestion of food waste, grass clippings and garden waste with mixed sludge at HRT of 30, 20, 15 and 10 days. Syntrophic acetate oxidation along with hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis, mediated by Methanothermobacter, was found to be the most prevalent methane formation pathway, with the only exception of 10 days' HRT, in which Methanosarcina was the most dominant archaea. Significantly, the degradation of complex organic polymers was found to be the most active process, performed by members of S1 (Thermotogales), Thermonema and Lactobacillus in a reactor fed with a high share of food waste. Conversely, Thermacetogenium, Anaerobaculum, Ruminococcaceae, Porphyromonadaceae and the lignocellulosic-degrading Clostridium were the significantly more abundant bacteria in the reactor fed with an increased share of lignocellulosic biomass in the form of grass clippings and garden waste. Finally, microbes belonging to Coprothermobacter, Syntrophomonas and Clostridium were correlated significantly with the specific methane yield obtained in both reactors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Research
Volume118
Pages (from-to)261-271
Number of pages11
ISSN0043-1354
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • 16S rRNA
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Methanogenesis
  • Microbial diversity
  • Urban organic waste

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