Effects of phosphate addition on methane fermentation in the batch and upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors

Suzuki, Sho; Shintani, Masaki; Sanchez, Zoe; Kimura, Kohei; Numata, Mitsuru; Yamazoe, Atsushi; Kimbara, Kazuhide
December 2015
Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology;Dec2015, Vol. 99 Issue 24, p10457
Academic Journal
Ammonia inhibition of methane fermentation is one of the leading causes of failure of anaerobic digestion reactors. In a batch anaerobic digestion reactor with 429 mM NH-N/L of ammonia, the addition of 25 mM phosphate resulted in an increase in methane production rate. Similar results were obtained with the addition of disodium phosphate in continuous anaerobic digestion using an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor. While methane content and production rate decreased in the presence of more than 143 mM NH-N/L of ammonium chloride in UASB, the addition of 5 mM disodium phosphate suppressed ammonia inhibition at 214 mM NH-N/L of ammonium chloride. The addition prevented acetate/propionate accumulation, which might be one of the effects of the phosphate on the ammonia inhibition. The effects on the microbial community in the UASB reactor was also assessed, which was composed of Bacteria involved in hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis, and dehydrogenation, as well as Archaea carrying out methanogenesis. The change in the microbial community was observed by ammonia inhibition and the addition of phosphate. The change indicates that the suppression of ammonia inhibition by disodium phosphate addition could stimulate the activity of methanogens, reduce shift in bacterial community, and enhance hydrogen-producing bacteria. The addition of phosphate will be an important treatment for future studies of methane fermentation.


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