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Hydrogen-dependent control of the continuous anaerobic digestion process

Whitmore, T, Lloyd, David, Jones, G and Williams, TN 1987. Hydrogen-dependent control of the continuous anaerobic digestion process. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 26 (4) , 383--388. 10.1007/BF00256675

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Membrane inlet mass spectrometry was used to directly measure the concentrations of CH4 and H2 in a mesophilic (37°C) completely mixed, laboratory scale, anaerobic digester, continuously fed at a retention time of 7 days with a glucose (50 mM) mineral salts medium. When the digester was overloaded by an increase in the influent substrate concentration, equivalent to 15.5 kg (COD) m-3 (digester) day-1 the concentrations of H2 and short chain fatty acids increased with a concomitant decline in the pH: following an initial stimulation methanogenesis was inhibited. Regulation of the H2 signal from the mass spectrometer in a closed feedback loop by controlled addition of carbon source under a potential overload condition, enabled the H2 concentration to the controlled around 1μM and a high steady state rate of methanogenesis of 42 μM min-1 to be maintained; this is equivalent to 1.4 volumes of CH4 per culture volume per day. The hydrogen-dependent control system was also used to prevent inhibition of methanogenesis when the digester was subject to volumetric overloading potentially equivalent to a retention time of 1 day.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 0175-7598
Date of Acceptance: 9 February 1987
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2020 10:15

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