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Issue 40, 2015
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Coupling electric energy and biogas production in anaerobic digesters – impacts on the microbiome

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Abstract

The combination of anaerobic digestion (AD) and microbial electrochemical technologies provides the opportunity to efficiently produce methane and electrical energy from complex biomass. Enhanced methane production and system stability have been reported but the causes (electrolysis or microbial–electrochemical interactions) are less understood. Using the model substrate corn silage it is demonstrated that, for conditions allowing microbiome growth and adaptation, the methane yield of combined reactors remains constant (216 (±29) mL godm−1) while a second product, electrons (q = 14.4 (±0.8) kC, jmax = 1.34 mA cm−2 geometric current density), is also generated. The combined strategy allowed up to a 27% increase in total yield while the reactor community and its dynamics over time were not affected. A typical AD composition of Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, and Synergistetes (bacteria) as well as Methanosarcina, Methanoculleus and Methanobacterium (archaea) was found in the bulk liquid. Specific enrichments of Geobacter (anode) and Methanobacterium (cathode) were of functional relevance.

Graphical abstract: Coupling electric energy and biogas production in anaerobic digesters – impacts on the microbiome

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Feb 2015, accepted on 25 Mar 2015 and first published on 25 Mar 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5RA03496E
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Citation: RSC Adv., 2015,5, 31329-31340
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    Coupling electric energy and biogas production in anaerobic digesters – impacts on the microbiome

    C. Koch, A. Kuchenbuch, J. Kretzschmar, H. Wedwitschka, J. Liebetrau, S. Müller and F. Harnisch, RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 31329
    DOI: 10.1039/C5RA03496E

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