Effect of adding carbon fiber textiles to methanogenic bioreactors used to treat an artificial garbage slurry
To compare the performances and microbial populations of methanogenic reactors with and without carbon fiber textiles (CFT), we operated small-scale (200 ml) reactors using a slurry of artificial garbage. For both types of reactors, the organic loading rate (OLR) was stepwisely and rapidly increased in the same manner. Start-up period was shortened by adding CFT. Reactors with CFT showed greater efficiency for removal of suspended solid and volatile suspended solid than reactors without CFT at a long hydraulic retention time (HRT) between 8 and 13 days. The reactors with CFT maintained stable methane production at an OLR of 15.3 g dichromate chemical oxygen demand (CODcr)/l/day and DNAs from microorganisms were highly concentrated in adhering fractions on CFT. As shown by quantitative PCR analysis, the proportions of methanogenic archaea were conserved more than 25% in adhering fractions on CFT in reactors with CFT. By contrast, reactors without CFT showed accumulation of volatile fatty acid and deteriorated at an OLR of 2.4 gCODcr/l/day. Methanogenic proportions dropped to 17.1% in suspended fractions of reactors without CFT. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis revealed that all archaeal DGGE bands in both types of reactors were related to methanogens, but more bands were observed in reactors with CFT. Thus the higher performance of reactors with CFT likely reflects the greater abundance of microorganisms and methanogenic diversity.
Journal: Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering - Volume 108, Issue 2, August 2009, Pages 130–135