Microbial Ecology of Anaerobic Digestion

A special issue of Bioengineering (ISSN 2306-5354).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2014) | Viewed by 30648

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Microbiology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
Interests: environmental microbiology; microbial ecology; biotechnology; anaerobic microbes; microbial communities; molecular methods; anaerobic digestion; fermentation pathways; metagenomics; biodegradation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is an efficient and sustainable way of using organic carbon from residual biomass and organic waste for the production of renewable energy, while simultaneously recycling nutrients and cleaning up waste streams. The process relies on complex microbial communities comprising of diverse functional guilds; these communities have manifold metabolic pathways and interactions. In contrast to the conventional view of an anaerobic digester as a black box, advanced microbiological methods have paved the way for understanding and even controlling complex microbial networks. Nowadays, microbial resource management is crucial for technological progress in AD, and offers new perspectives concerning sustainable waste management, renewable energy production, resource efficiency, and advanced bio-refineries; these perspectives lead to novel applications of AD processes that go beyond biogas as the main product.

The current Special Issue emphasizes recent progress, based on a detailed understanding of the AD microbiome, in metabolic pathway engineering/modeling, systems modeling, and in the control and optimization of microbial processes in AD technology.

Dr. Sabine Kleinsteuber
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • anaerobic digestion
  • microbial resource management
  • AD microbiome
  • microbial networks
  • metabolic modeling
  • metabolic engineering
  • methanogenesis
  • syntrophy
  • anaerobic bioreactors
  • anaerobic fermentation

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Editorial

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70 KiB  
Editorial
Special Issue on “Microbial Ecology of Anaerobic Digestion”
by Sabine Kleinsteuber
Bioengineering 2014, 1(2), 111-112; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering1020111 - 5 Jun 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 5244
Abstract
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is an efficient and sustainable way of using organic carbon from residual biomass and organic waste for the production of renewable energy, while simultaneously recycling nutrients and cleaning up waste streams. The process relies on complex microbial communities comprised of [...] Read more.
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is an efficient and sustainable way of using organic carbon from residual biomass and organic waste for the production of renewable energy, while simultaneously recycling nutrients and cleaning up waste streams. The process relies on complex microbial communities comprised of diverse functional guilds; these communities have manifold metabolic pathways and interactions. In contrast to the conventional view of an anaerobic digester as a black box, advanced microbiological methods have paved the way for understanding and even controlling complex microbial networks. Nowadays, microbial resource management is crucial for technological progress in AD, and offers new perspectives concerning sustainable waste management, renewable energy production, resource efficiency, and advanced bio-refineries; these perspectives lead to novel applications of AD processes that go beyond biogas as the main product. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Ecology of Anaerobic Digestion)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

1040 KiB  
Article
Improved Anaerobic Fermentation of Wheat Straw by Alkaline Pre-Treatment and Addition of Alkali-Tolerant Microorganisms
by Heike Sträuber, Franziska Bühligen, Sabine Kleinsteuber, Marcell Nikolausz and Katharina Porsch
Bioengineering 2015, 2(2), 66-93; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering2020066 - 15 Apr 2015
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 9051
Abstract
The potential of two alkali-tolerant, lignocellulolytic environmental enrichment cultures to improve the anaerobic fermentation of Ca(OH)2-pre-treated wheat straw was studied. The biomethane potential of pre-treated straw was 36% higher than that of untreated straw. The bioaugmentation of pre-treated straw with the [...] Read more.
The potential of two alkali-tolerant, lignocellulolytic environmental enrichment cultures to improve the anaerobic fermentation of Ca(OH)2-pre-treated wheat straw was studied. The biomethane potential of pre-treated straw was 36% higher than that of untreated straw. The bioaugmentation of pre-treated straw with the enrichment cultures did not enhance the methane yield, but accelerated the methane production during the first week. In acidogenic leach-bed fermenters, a 61% higher volatile fatty acid (VFA) production and a 112% higher gas production, mainly CO2, were observed when pre-treated instead of untreated straw was used. With one of the two enrichment cultures as the inoculum, instead of the standard inoculum, the VFA production increased by an additional 36% and the gas production by an additional 110%, again mainly CO2. Analysis of the microbial communities in the leach-bed processes revealed similar bacterial compositions in the fermenters with pre-treated straw, which developed independently of the used inoculum. It was suggested that the positive metabolic effects with the enrichment cultures observed in both systems were due to initial activities of the alkali-tolerant microorganisms tackling the alkaline conditions better than the standard inocula, whereas the latter dominated in the long term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Ecology of Anaerobic Digestion)
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781 KiB  
Article
Mitigation of Humic Acid Inhibition in Anaerobic Digestion of Cellulose by Addition of Various Salts
by Samet Azman, Ahmad F. Khadem, Grietje Zeeman, Jules B. Van Lier and Caroline M. Plugge
Bioengineering 2015, 2(2), 54-65; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering2020054 - 25 Mar 2015
Cited by 49 | Viewed by 9400
Abstract
Humic compounds are inhibitory to the anaerobic hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass. In this study, the impact of salt addition to mitigate the inhibitory effects of humic compounds was investigated. The experiment was conducted using batch tests to monitor the anaerobic hydrolysis of cellulose [...] Read more.
Humic compounds are inhibitory to the anaerobic hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass. In this study, the impact of salt addition to mitigate the inhibitory effects of humic compounds was investigated. The experiment was conducted using batch tests to monitor the anaerobic hydrolysis of cellulose in the presence of humic acid. Sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron salts were tested separately for their efficiency to mitigate humic acid inhibition. All experiments were done under mesophilic conditions (30 °C) and at pH 7. Methane production was monitored online, using the Automatic Methane Potential Test System. Methane production, soluble chemical oxygen demand and volatile fatty acid content of the samples were measured to calculate the hydrolysis efficiencies. Addition of magnesium, calcium and iron salts clearly mitigated the inhibitory effects of humic acid and hydrolysis efficiencies reached up to 75%, 65% and 72%, respectively, which were similar to control experiments. Conversely, potassium and sodium salts addition did not mitigate the inhibition and hydrolysis efficiencies were found to be less than 40%. Mitigation of humic acid inhibition via salt addition was also validated by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy analyses, which showed the binding capacity of different cations to humic acid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Ecology of Anaerobic Digestion)
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798 KiB  
Article
Microbial Community Shifts during Biogas Production from Biowaste and/or Propionate
by Chaoran Li, Christoph Moertelmaier, Josef Winter and Claudia Gallert
Bioengineering 2015, 2(1), 35-53; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering2010035 - 9 Feb 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 6157
Abstract
Propionate is the most delicate intermediate during anaerobic digestion as its degradation is thermodynamically unfavorable. To determine its maximum possible degradation rates during anaerobic digestion, a reactor was fed Monday to Friday with an organic loading rate (OLR) of 12/14 kg CODbiowaste [...] Read more.
Propionate is the most delicate intermediate during anaerobic digestion as its degradation is thermodynamically unfavorable. To determine its maximum possible degradation rates during anaerobic digestion, a reactor was fed Monday to Friday with an organic loading rate (OLR) of 12/14 kg CODbiowaste·m−3·d−1 plus propionate up to a final OLR of 18 kg COD·m−3·d−1. No feed was supplied on weekends as it was the case in full-scale. To maintain permanently high propionate oxidizing activity (POA), a basic OLR of 3 kg CODpropionate·m−3·d−1 all week + 11 kg CODbiowaste·m−3·d−1 from Monday to Friday was supplied. Finally a reactor was operated with an OLR of 12 kg CODbiowaste·m−3·d−1 from Monday to Friday and 5 kg CODpropionate·m−3·d−1 from Friday night to Monday morning to maintain a constant gas production for permanent operation of a gas engine. The propionate degradation rates (PDRs) were determined for biowaste + propionate feeding. Decreasing PDRs during starvation were analyzed. The POA was higher after propionate supply than after biowaste feeding and decreased faster during starvation of a propionate-fed rather than a biowaste-fed inoculum. Shifts of the propionate-oxidizing and methanogenic community were determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Ecology of Anaerobic Digestion)
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