Microbial characteristics of methanogenic sludge consortia developed in thermophilic U ASB reactors

Shigeki Uemura, Hideki Harada

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70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effect of temperature on granulation and microbial interaction of anaerobic sludges grown in thermophilic upflow anaerobic sludge bed (UASB) reactors was investigated at two different temperatures, 55°C (Run 1) and 65°C (Run 2). Each run consisted of two phases. Phase 1 was conducted by feeding acetate for a period of 200 days. In Phase 2, both reactors were fed a mixture of acetate and sucrose for a further 100 days. During Phase 1, no granulation occurred in the sludge of either run. Microscopic observation revealed that the predominant methanogen was Methanothrix in Run 1, whereas Methanobacterium-like bacteria existed to a significant extent in Run 2. The acetate-utilizing methanogenic activity of both sludges increased with increasing test temperature in the range 55-65°C. Since the acetate-grown sludges exhibited far higher H2-utilizing methanogenic activity than acetate-utilizing methanogenic activity, it is suggested that a syntrophic association of acetate-oxidizing bacteria with hydrogenotrophic methanogens was responsible for a considerable portion of the overall acetate elimination in thermophilic anaerobic sludge. During Phase 2, granules coated with either filamentous bacteria or cocci-type bacteria (both presumably acid-forming bacteria) were successfully established in Run 1 and Run 2, respectively. Since the acetate-utilizing methanogenic activities of the granular sludges were four to five times higher than those of the acetate-grown sludges (Phase 1), the co-existence of these "coating bacteria" appeared to contribute to the enclosing of acetate consumers inside granules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-660
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume39
Issue number4-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1993 Jul 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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