Effects of operational disturbance and subsequent recovery process on microbial community during a pilot-scale anaerobic co-digestion

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, 2019, 138 pp. 70 - 77
Issue Date:
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© 2019 This study investigated changes in microbial community structure and composition in response to operational disturbance and subsequent process recovery by inoculum addition. Amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA and mcrA marker genes on the Illumina Miseq platform was used for microbial community analysis. The results show that imbalance among core microbial groups caused volatile fatty acid accumulation and subsequent deteriorated biogas production (decreased by 45% of daily volume) and methane content (<49%). Operational disturbance led to the enrichment of hydrolytic and fermentative bacteria (accounted for >57% of the total abundance) and reduction of acetogenic and methanogenic microbes (they accounted for <9% and <3% of the total abundance, respectively). Acetogens and methanogens were replenished by inoculum addition to recover digester performance. Although digester performances were similar in stable (prior to disturbance) and post recovery phases, the microbial community did not return to the original state, suggesting the existence of functional redundancy in the community.
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