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Process parameters and changes in the microbial community patterns during the first 240 days of an agricultural energy crop digester

Title data

Weithmann, Nicolas ; Weig, Alfons ; Freitag, Ruth:
Process parameters and changes in the microbial community patterns during the first 240 days of an agricultural energy crop digester.
In: AMB Express. Vol. 6 (2 August 2016) Issue 1 . - No. 53.
ISSN 2191-0855
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13568-016-0219-7

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Abstract in another language

Commercial biogas production takes place by complex microbial communities enclosed in controlled “technical ecosystems”. Once established, the communities tend to be resilient towards disturbances, although the relative abundance of their members may vary. The start-up phase, during which the community establishes itself, is therefore decisive for the later performance of the reactor. In this study, we followed the first 240 days of a standard agricultural energy crop digester consisting of a 400 m3 plug flow fermenter and a 1000 m3 agitated post digester, operated at 40–45 °C. The feed consisted of corn and later grass silage augmented by ground wheat. Changes in both the eubacterial and methanogenic archaeal communities were followed by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). In addition the copy number of the methyl-coenzyme reductase A (mcrA)-genes found in all known methanogens were followed by quantitative PCR, while selected samples from two phases—one early, one late—of the community structure development were subjected to high throughput sequencing. Biogas volume and composition (CH4, CO2, H2, H2S, O2), pH, ammonia-N, and volatile fatty acids (VFA), were measured as part of the routine process control. VFA/TIC values were calculated on this basis. Whereas the total gas production of the plant established itself at about 2500 m3 biogas per day within the first months, the composition of the microbial communities showed distinct spatial and temporal differences over the investigated time period. Absolute values for DNA isolation procedures are difficult to certify, hence comparative results on community structures obtained using standardized ARISA with identical primers are of value. Moreover, ARISA patterns can be statistically analyzed to identify distinct subgroups and transitions between them as well as serial correlations. Thereby the microbial community and its structural development can be correlated with statistical relevance to changes in operational (feed) and process parameters (pH-value, biogas composition). In particular when augmented by deep sequencing data of judiciously chosen samples, this allows a hitherto unknown level of insight into the performance of technical biogas plants.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: Zählung 6:53 = Vol.6, Aufsatz Nr.53
BAYCEER136991
Keywords: ARISA; Biogas; Community profile; Energy crop digester; Methanogenic archaea
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Plant Ecology
Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science
Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science > Chair Process Biotechnology
Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science > Chair Process Biotechnology > Chair Process Biotechnology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ruth Freitag
Profile Fields
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields > Energy Research and Energy Technology
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Research Institutions > Research Units
Research Institutions > Research Units > ZET - Zentrum für Energietechnik
Graduate Schools > TAO-Graduiertenkolleg Energieautarke Gebäude
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences > 620 Engineering
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2016 10:23
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2019 10:59
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/34287