The methane potential and biodegradability of different ratios of acetate and lignin-rich effluents from a neutral sulfite semi-chemical (NSSC) pulp mill were investigated. Results showed ultimate methane yields up to 333±5mLCH4/gCOD when only acetate-rich substrate was added and subsequently lower methane potentials of 192±4mLCH4/gCOD when the lignin fraction was increased. The presence of lignin showed a linear decay in methane production, resulting in a 41% decrease in methane when the lignin-rich feed had a 30% increase. A negative linear correlation between lignin content and biodegradability was also observed. Furthermore, the effect of hydrotalcite (HT) addition was evaluated and showed increase in methane potential of up to 8%, a faster production rate and higher soluble lignin removal (7-12% higher). Chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiencies between 64 and 83% were obtained for all samples.
Since the 1980s, the pulp and paper industry in Finland has resulted in the accumulation of fibres in lake sediments. One such site in Lake Näsijärvi contains approximately 1.5 million m3 sedimented fibres. In this study, the methane production potential of the sedimented fibres (on average 13% total solids (TS)) was determined in batch assays. Furthermore, the methane production from solid (on average 20% TS) and liquid fractions of sedimented fibres after solid-liquid separation was studied. The sedimented fibres resulted in fast methane production and high methane yields of 250?±?80?L CH4/kg volatile solids (VS). The main part (ca. 90%) of the methane potential was obtained from the solid fraction of the sedimented fibres. In addition, the VS removal from the total and solid sedimented fibres was high, 61-65% and 63-78%, respectively. The liquid fraction also contained a large amount of organics (on average 8.8?g COD/L), treatment of which also has to be considered. The estimations of the methane production potentials in the case area showed potential up to 40 million m3 of methane from sedimented fibres.
This study describes a novel wastewater treatment technology suitable for small remote northern communities. The technology is based on an enhanced biodegradation of organic carbon through a combination of anaerobic methanogenic and microbial electrochemical (bioelectrochemical) degradation processes leading to biomethane production. The microbial electrochemical degradation is achieved in a membraneless flow-through bioanode-biocathode setup operating at an applied voltage below the water electrolysis threshold. Laboratory wastewater treatment tests conducted through a broad range of mesophilic and psychrophilic temperatures (5-23 °C) using synthetic wastewater showed a biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) removal efficiency of 90-97% and an effluent BOD5 concentration as low as 7 mg L-1. An electricity consumption of 0.6 kWh kg-1 of chemical oxygen demand (COD) removed was observed. Low energy consumption coupled with enhanced methane production led to a net positive energy balance in the bioelectrochemical treatment system.
In this study two wet microalgae cultures and one dried microalgae culture were co-digested in different proportions with sewage sludge in mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. The aim was to evaluate if the co-digestion could lead to an increased efficiency of methane production compared to digestion of sewage sludge alone. The results showed that co-digestion with both wet and dried microalgae, in certain proportions, increased the biochemical methane potential (BMP) compared with digestion of sewage sludge alone in mesophilic conditions. The BMP was significantly higher than the calculated BMP in many of the mixtures. This synergetic effect was statistically significant in a mixture containing 63% (w/w VS based) undigested sewage sludge and 37% (w/w VS based) wet algae slurry, which produced 23% more methane than observed with undigested sewage sludge alone. The trend was that thermophilic co-digestion of microalgae and undigested sewage sludge did not give the same synergy.
Methanogenic archaea are widespread anaerobic microorganisms responsible for the production of biogenic methane. Several new species of psychrotolerant methanogenic archaea were recently isolated from a permafrost-affected soil in the Lena Delta (Siberia, Russia), showing an exceptional resistance against desiccation, osmotic stress, low temperatures, starvation, UV and ionizing radiation when compared to methanogens from non-permafrost environments. To gain a deeper insight into the differences observed in their resistance, we described the chemical composition of methanogenic strains from permafrost and non-permafrost environments using confocal Raman microspectroscopy (CRM). CRM is a powerful tool for microbial identification and provides fingerprint-like information about the chemical composition of the cells. Our results show that the chemical composition of methanogens from permafrost-affected soils presents a high homology and is remarkably different from strains inhabiting non-permafrost environments. In addition, we performed a phylogenetic reconstruction of the studied strains based on the functional gene mcrA to prove the different evolutionary relationship of the permafrost strains. We conclude that the permafrost methanogenic strains show a convergent chemical composition regardless of their genotype. This fact is likely to be the consequence of a complex adaptive process to the Siberian permafrost environment and might be the reason underlying their resistant nature.
The aim of this study was to compare the effect of mesophilic anaerobic digestion with aerobic storage on the survival of selected indigenous microorganisms and microbial groups in blackwater, including the effect of addition of Greenlandic Halibut and shrimp offal. The methane yield of the different substrate mixtures was determined in batch experiments to study possible correlation between methanogenic activity in the anaerobic digesters and reduction of indigenous microorganisms in the blackwater. By the end of the experiments a recovery study was conducted to determine possible injury of the microorganisms. In both anaerobic and aerobic samples, survival of Escherichia coli was better in the presence of Greenlandic Halibut offal when compared to samples containing blackwater only and blackwater and shrimp offal, possibly due to more available carbon in the samples containing Greenlandic Halibut offal. Reduction of faecal streptococci was large under both anaerobic and aerobic conditions, and the results indicated a complete removal of faecal streptococci in the anaerobic samples containing blackwater and a mixture of blackwater and shrimp offal after 17 and 31 days, respectively. Amoxicillin resistant bacteria were reduced in the anaerobic samples in the beginning of the study but increased towards the end of it. The opposite pattern was observed in the aerobic samples, with a growth in the beginning followed by a reduction. During the anaerobic digestion tetracycline resistant bacteria showed the least reduction in the mixture of blackwater and shrimp offal, which had the lowest methane yield while the highest reduction was observed in the mixture of blackwater and Greenlandic Halibut, where the highest methane yield was measured Reduction of coliphages was larger under anaerobic conditions. Addition of fish offal had no effect on survival of coliphages. The results of the recovery study indicated that a fraction of the E. coli in the aerobic blackwater sample and of the faecal streptococci in both the anaerobic and aerobic samples containing blackwater and Greenlandic Halibut were injured only, and thus able to resuscitate during recovery. The use of anaerobic digestion in the Arctic is limited to substrate types like those tested in this study because of absence of agriculture. The results indicate that anaerobic digestion of wastewater could benefit from the addition of fish offal, with respect to both microbial reduction and energy production.
The aim of this study was to investigate the specific methane production and the energy balance at a small farm scaled mesophilic biogas plant in a cold climate area. The main substrate was dairy cow slurry. Fish silage was used as co-substrate for two of the three test periods. Energy production, substrate volumes and thermal and electric energy consumption was monitored. Methane production depended mainly on type and amount of substrates, while energy consumption depended mainly on the ambient temperature. During summer the main thermal energy consumption was caused by heating of new substrates, while covering for thermal energy losses from digester and pipes required most thermal energy during winter. Fish silage gave a total energy production of 1623 k Wh/m(3), while the dairy cow slurry produced 79 k Wh/m(3) slurry. Total energy demand at the plant varied between 26.9% and 88.2% of the energy produced.
Anaerobic digestion of source-separated municipal organic waste is considered feasible in Denmark. The limited hydraulic retention in the biogas reactor (typically 15 d) does not allow full degradation of the organic waste. Storage of anaerobically digested municipal organic waste can therefore be a source of methane (CH4) emission that may contribute significantly to the potential global warming impact from the waste treatment system. This study provides a model for quantifying the CH4 production from stored co-digested municipal organic waste and estimates the production under typical Danish climatic conditions, thus quantifying the potential global warming impact from storage of the digested municipal organic waste before its use on agricultural land. Laboratory batch tests on CH4 production as well as temperature measurements in eight full-scale storage tanks provided data for developing a model estimating the CH4 production in storage tanks containing digested municipal organic waste. The temperatures measured in separate storage tanks on farms receiving digested slurry were linearly correlated with air temperature. In storage tanks receiving slurry directly from biogas reactors, significantly higher temperatures were measured due to the high temperatures of the effluent from the reactor. Storage tanks on Danish farms are typically emptied in April and have a constant inflow of digested material. During the warmest months the content of digested material is therefore low, which limits the yearly CH4 production from storage.
Microbial methanogenesis at extreme conditions of saline alkaline soda lakes has, so far, been poorly investigated. Despite the obvious domination of sulfidogenesis as the therminal anaerobic process in the hypersaline soda lakes of Kulunda Steppe (Altai, southwestern Siberia), high concentrations of methane were detected in the anaerobic sediments. Potential activity measurements with different substrates gave results significantly deviating from what is commonly found in hypersaline habitats with neutral pH. In particular, not only a non-competitive methylotrophic pathway was active, but also lithotrophic and, in some cases, even acetate-dependent methanogenesis was found to be present in hypersaline soda lake sediments. All three pathways were functioning exclusively within the alkaline pH range between 8 and 10.5, while the salt concentration was the key factor influencing the activity. Methylotrophic and, to a lesser extent, lithotrophic methanogenesis were active up to soda-saturating conditions (4 M total Na(+)). Acetate-dependent methanogenesis was observed at salinities below 3 M total Na(+). Detection of methanogens in sediments using the mcrA gene as a functional marker demonstrated domination of methylotrophic genera Methanolobus and Methanosalsum and lithotrophic Methanocalculus. In a few cases, acetoclastic Methanosaeta was detected, as well as two deep lineage methanogens. Cultivation results corresponded well to the mcrA-based observations. Enrichments for natronophilic methylotrophic methanogens resulted in isolation of Methanolobus strains at moderate salinity, while at salt concentrations above 2 M Na(+) a novel member of the genus Methanosalsum was dominating. Enrichments with H2 or formate invariably resulted in domination of close relatives of Methanocalculus natronophilus. Enrichments with acetate at low salt concentration yielded two acetoclastic alkaliphilic Methanosaeta cultures, while at salinity above 1 M Na(+) syntrophic associations were apparently responsible for the observed acetate conversion to methane. Overall, the results indicated the presence of functionally structured and active methanogenic populations in Siberian hypersaline soda lakes.