116,941 research outputs found

    Bioaugmentation for Improved Recovery of Anaerobic Digesters After Toxicant Exposure

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    Bioaugmentation was investigated as a method to decrease the recovery period of anaerobic digesters exposed to a transient toxic event. Two sets of laboratory-scale digesters (SRT = 10 days, OLR = 2 g COD/L-day), started with inoculum from a digester stabilizing synthetic municipal wastewater solids (MW) and synthetic industrial wastewater (WW), respectively, were transiently exposed to the model toxicant, oxygen. Bioaugmented digesters received 1.2 g VSS/L-day of an H2-utilizing culture for which the archaeal community was analyzed. Soon after oxygen exposure, the bioaugmented digesters produced 25–60% more methane than non-bioaugmented controls (p \u3c 0.05). One set of digesters produced lingering high propionate concentrations, and bioaugmentation resulted in significantly shorter recovery periods. The second set of digesters did not display lingering propionate, and bioaugmented digesters recovered at the same time as non-bioaugmented controls. The difference in the effect of bioaugmentation on recovery may be due to differences between microbial communities of the digester inocula originally employed. In conclusion, bioaugmentation with an H2-utilizing culture is a potential tool to decrease the recovery period, decrease propionate concentration, and increase biogas production of some anaerobic digesters after a toxic event. Digesters already containing rapidly adaptable microbial communities may not benefit from bioaugmentation, whereas other digesters with poorly adaptable microbial communities may benefit greatly

    Correlating Methane Production to Microbiota in Anaerobic Digesters Fed Synthetic Wastewater

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    A quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR) between relative abundance values and digester methane production rate was developed. For this, 50 triplicate anaerobic digester sets (150 total digesters) were each seeded with different methanogenic biomass samples obtained from full-scale, engineered methanogenic systems. Although all digesters were operated identically for at least 5 solids retention times (SRTs), their quasi steady-state function varied significantly, with average daily methane production rates ranging from 0.09 ± 0.004 to 1 ± 0.05 L-CH4/LR-day (LR = Liter of reactor volume) (average ± standard deviation). Digester microbial community structure was analyzed using more than 4.1 million partial 16S rRNA gene sequences of Archaea and Bacteria. At the genus level, 1300 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were observed across all digesters, whereas each digester contained 158 ± 27 OTUs. Digester function did not correlate with typical biomass descriptors such as volatile suspended solids (VSS) concentration, microbial richness, diversity or evenness indices. However, methane production rate did correlate notably with relative abundances of one Archaeal and nine Bacterial OTUs. These relative abundances were used as descriptors to develop a multiple linear regression (MLR) QSAR equation to predict methane production rates solely based on microbial community data. The model explained over 66% of the variance in the experimental data set based on 149 anaerobic digesters with a standard error of 0.12 L-CH4/LR-day. This study provides a framework to relate engineered process function and microbial community composition which can be further expanded to include different feed stocks and digester operating conditions in order to develop a more robust QSAR model