Decreased activity of a propionate degrading community in a UASB reactor fed with synthetic medium without molybdenum, tungsten and selenium
The composition and dynamics of the propionate degrading community in a propionate-fed upflow anaerobic sludge bed (UASB) reactor with sludge originating from an alcohol distillery wastewater treating UASB reactor was studied. The rather stable propionate degrading microbial community comprised relatives of propionate degrading Syntrophobacter spp., the hydrogen and formate consuming Methanospirillum hungatei and the acetate consuming Methanosaeta concilii. The effect of the long-term absence of molybdenum, tungsten and selenium from the feed to the UASB reactor on microbial community dynamics and activity was examined. Measurements for metal concentrations of the sludge and specific methanogenic activity tests with supplied molybdenum, tungsten and selenium were found to be unsuitable to detect the potential limitation of the microbial activity of the UASB sludge by these trace metals. During a long-term absence of molybdenum, tungsten and selenium from the feed to the UASB reactor, the methanogenic activity decreased while relatives of Smithella propionica and Pelotomaculum spp. competed with Syntrophobacter spp. for propionate consumption.
Journal: Enzyme and Microbial Technology - Volume 45, Issue 2, 7 August 2009, Pages 139–145