Degradation of methanethiol by methylotrophic methanogenic archaea in a lab-scale upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor.
ABSTRACT: In a lab-scale upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor inoculated with granular sludge from a full-scale wastewater treatment plant treating paper mill wastewater, methanethiol (MT) was degraded at 30 degrees C to H2S, CO2, and CH4. At a hydraulic retention time of 9 h, a maximum influent concentration of 6 mM MT was applied, corresponding to a volumetric loading rate of 16.5 mmol liter-1 day-1. The archaeal community within the reactor was characterized by anaerobic culturing and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis, cloning, and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes and quantitative PCR. Initially, MT-fermenting methanogenic archaea related to members of the genus Methanolobus were enriched in the reactor. Later, they were outcompeted by Methanomethylovorans hollandica, which was detected in aggregates but not inside the granules that originated from the inoculum, the microbial composition of which remained fairly unchanged. Possibly other species within the Methanosarcinacaea also contributed to the fermentation of MT, but they were not enriched by serial dilution in liquid media. The archaeal community within the granules, which was dominated by Methanobacterium beijingense, did not change substantially during the reactor operation. Some of the species related to Methanomethylovorans hollandica were enriched by serial dilutions, but their growth rates were very low. Interestingly, the enrichments could be sustained only in the presence of MT and did not utilize any of the other typical substrates for methylotrophic methanogens, such as methanol, methyl amine, or dimethylsulfide.
Project description:Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) using 16S and 23S rRNA-targeted probes together with construction of an archaeal 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) clone library was used to characterize the microbial populations of an anaerobic baffled reactor successfully treating industrial dye waste. Wastewater produced during the manufacture of food dyes containing several different azo and other dye compounds was decolorized and degraded under sulfidogenic and methanogenic conditions. Use of molecular methods to describe microbial populations showed that a diverse group of Bacteria and Archaea was involved in this treatment process. FISH enumeration showed that members of the gamma subclass of the class Proteobacteria and bacteria in the Cytophaga-Flexibacter-Bacteroides phylum, together with sulfate-reducing bacteria, were prominent members of a mixed bacterial population. A combination of FISH probing and analysis of 98 archaeal 16S rDNA clone inserts revealed that together with the bacterial population, a methanogenic population dominated by Methanosaeta species and containing species of Methanobacterium and Methanospirillum and a relatively unstudied methanogen, Methanomethylovorans hollandica, contributed to successful anaerobic treatment of the industrial waste. We suggest that sulfate reducers, or more accurately sulfidogenic bacteria, together with M. hollandica contribute considerably to the treatment process through metabolism of dye-associated sulfonate groups and subsequent conversion of sulfur compounds to carbon dioxide and methane.
Project description:In this study, we established a rapid multiplex method to detect the relative abundances of amplified 16S rRNA genes from known cultivatable methanogens at hierarchical specificities in anaerobic digestion systems treating industrial wastewater and sewage sludge. The method was based on the hierarchical oligonucleotide primer extension (HOPE) technique and combined with a set of 27 primers designed to target the total archaeal populations and methanogens from 22 genera within 4 taxonomic orders. After optimization for their specificities and detection sensitivity under the conditions of multiple single-nucleotide primer extension reactions, the HOPE approach was applied to analyze the methanogens in 19 consortium samples from 7 anaerobic treatment systems (i.e., 513 reactions). Among the samples, the methanogen populations detected with order-level primers accounted for >77.2% of the PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes detected using an Archaea-specific primer. The archaeal communities typically consisted of 2 to 7 known methanogen genera within the Methanobacteriales, Methanomicrobiales, and Methanosarcinales and displayed population dynamic and spatial distributions in anaerobic reactor operations. Principal component analysis of the HOPE data further showed that the methanogen communities could be clustered into 3 distinctive groups, in accordance with the distribution of the Methanosaeta, Methanolinea, and Methanomethylovorans, respectively. This finding suggested that in addition to acetotrophic and hydrogenotrophic methanogens, the methylotrophic methanogens might play a key role in the anaerobic treatment of industrial wastewater. Overall, the results demonstrated that the HOPE approach is a specific, rapid, and multiplexing platform to determine the relative abundances of targeted methanogens in PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene products.
Project description:We report, for the first time, extensive biologically mediated phosphate removal from wastewater during high-rate anaerobic digestion (AD). A hybrid sludge bed/fixed-film (packed pumice stone) reactor was employed for low-temperature (12°C) anaerobic treatment of synthetic sewage wastewater. Successful phosphate removal from the wastewater (up to 78% of influent phosphate) was observed, mediated by biofilms in the reactor. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis revealed the accumulation of elemental phosphorus (?2%) within the sludge bed and fixed-film biofilms. 4', 6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining indicated phosphorus accumulation was biological in nature and mediated through the formation of intracellular inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) granules within these biofilms. DAPI staining further indicated that polyP accumulation was rarely associated with free cells. Efficient and consistent chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal was recorded, throughout the 732-day trial, at applied organic loading rates between 0.4 and 1.5 kg COD m(-3) d(-1) and hydraulic retention times of 8-24 h, while phosphate removal efficiency ranged from 28 to 78% on average per phase. Analysis of protein hydrolysis kinetics and the methanogenic activity profiles of the biomass revealed the development, at 12°C, of active hydrolytic and methanogenic populations. Temporal microbial changes were monitored using Illumina MiSeq analysis of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences. The dominant bacterial phyla present in the biomass at the conclusion of the trial were the Proteobacteria and Firmicutes and the dominant archaeal genus was Methanosaeta. Trichococcus and Flavobacterium populations, previously associated with low temperature protein degradation, developed in the reactor biomass. The presence of previously characterized polyphosphate accumulating organisms (PAOs) such as Rhodocyclus, Chromatiales, Actinobacter, and Acinetobacter was recorded at low numbers. However, it is unknown as yet if these were responsible for the luxury polyP uptake observed in this system. The possibility of efficient phosphate removal and recovery from wastewater during AD would represent a major advance in the scope for widespread application of anaerobic wastewater treatment technologies.
Project description:In upflow anaerobic sludge bed (UASB) reactors, biomass present as granules allows for long solids retention time. Here, granules from a process treating pulp and paper industrial wastewater were successfully applied as inoculum in UASB reactors treating pig manure supernatant, despite high particle content and high ammonium concentrations in the influent. We did a detailed characterization of archaeal and bacterial communities associated with the inoculum and with the aggregated and dispersed fractions of the influent and the reactors after one year of operation. The granular communities underwent major changes and adapted to the highly distinct conditions without disintegration of the granules. Although the granules persisted in the reactors, non-granular aggregates accumulated, and partly replaced the granules. Particles introduced to the reactors by the pig manure influent apparently contributed both as food and biofilm growth support. Archaeal communities in the dispersed reactor phase were similar to those dispersed in the influents, implying successful retention and little loss of archaeal biomass due to detachment or disintegration of granules and other aggregates. Unique bacterial communities developed in the dispersed fraction of the reactors despite of low hydraulic retention times. They probably consisted of fast growing organisms consuming readily degradable organic matter.
Project description:Tetramethylammonium-degrading methanogenic consortia from a complete-mixing suspended sludge (CMSS) and an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors were studied using multiple PCR-based molecular techniques and shotgun proteomic approach. The prokaryotic 16S rRNA genes of the consortia were analyzed by quantitative PCR, high-throughput sequencing, and DGGE-cloning methods. The results showed that methanogenic archaea were highly predominant in both reactors but differed markedly according to community structure. Community and proteomic analysis revealed that Methanomethylovorans and Methanosarcina were the major players for the demethylation of methylated substrates and methane formation through the reduction pathway of methyl-S-CoM and possibly, acetyl-CoA synthase/decarbonylase-related pathways. Unlike high dominance of one Methanomethylovorans population in the CMSS reactor, diverse methylotrophic Methanosarcina species inhabited in syntrophy-like association with hydrogenotrophic Methanobacterium in the granular sludge of UASB reactor. The overall findings indicated the reactor-dependent community structures of quaternary amines degradation and provided microbial insight for the improved understanding of engineering application.
Project description:Aerobic granulation of activated sludge was successfully achieved in a full-scale sequencing batch reactor (SBR) with 50,000 m(3) d(-1) for treating a town's wastewater. After operation for 337 days, in this full-scale SBR, aerobic granules with an average SVI30 of 47.1 mL g(-1), diameter of 0.5 mm, and settling velocity of 42 m h(-1) were obtained. Compared to an anaerobic/oxic plug flow (A/O) reactor and an oxidation ditch (OD) being operated in this wastewater treatment plant, the sludge from full-scale SBR has more compact structure and excellent settling ability. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis indicated that Flavobacterium sp., uncultured beta proteobacterium, uncultured Aquabacterium sp., and uncultured Leptothrix sp. were just dominant in SBR, whereas uncultured bacteroidetes were only found in A/O and OD. Three kinds of sludge had a high content of protein in extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis revealed that metal ions and some inorganics from raw wastewater precipitated in sludge acted as core to enhance granulation. Raw wastewater characteristics had a positive effect on the granule formation, but the SBR mode operating with periodic feast-famine, shorter settling time, and no return sludge pump played a crucial role in aerobic sludge granulation.
Project description:Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor has served as an effective process to treat industrial wastewater such as purified terephthalic acid (PTA) wastewater. For optimal UASB performance, balanced ecological interactions between syntrophs, methanogens, and fermenters are critical. However, much of the interactions remain unclear because UASB have been studied at a "macro"-level perspective of the reactor ecosystem. In reality, such reactors are composed of a suite of granules, each forming individual micro-ecosystems treating wastewater. Thus, typical approaches may be oversimplifying the complexity of the microbial ecology and granular development. To identify critical microbial interactions at both macro- and micro- level ecosystem ecology, we perform community and network analyses on 300 PTA-degrading granules from a lab-scale UASB reactor and two full-scale reactors. Based on MiSeq-based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of individual granules, different granule-types co-exist in both full-scale reactors regardless of granule size and reactor sampling depth, suggesting that distinct microbial interactions occur in different granules throughout the reactor. In addition, we identify novel networks of syntrophic metabolic interactions in different granules, perhaps caused by distinct thermodynamic conditions. Moreover, unseen methanogenic relationships (e.g. "Candidatus Aminicenantes" and Methanosaeta) are observed in UASB reactors. In total, we discover unexpected microbial interactions in granular micro-ecosystems supporting UASB ecology and treatment through a unique single-granule level approach.
Project description:Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) is a promising new process to treat high-strength nitrogenous wastewater. Due to the low growth rate of anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing bacteria, efficient biomass retention is essential for reactor operation. Therefore, we studied the settling ability and community composition of the anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing granules, which were cultivated in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor seeded with aerobic granules. With this seed, the start-up period was less than 160 days at a NH(4)(+)-N removal efficiency of 94% and a loading rate of 0.064 kg N per kg volatile suspended solids per day. The formed granules were bright red and had a high settling velocity (41 to 79 m h(-1)). Cells and extracellular polymeric substances were evenly distributed over the anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing granules. The high percentage of anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing bacteria in the granules could be visualized by fluorescent in situ hybridization and electron microscopy. The copy numbers of 16S rRNA genes of anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing bacteria in the granules were determined to be 4.6 x 10(8) copies ml(-1). The results of this study could be used for a better design, shorter start-up time, and more stable operation of anammox systems for the treatment of nitrogen-rich wastewaters.
Project description:The microbial characteristics of granular sludge during the rapid start of an enhanced external circulating anaerobic reactor were studied to improve algae-laden water treatment efficiency. Results showed that algae laden water was effectively removed after about 35 d, and the removal rates of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and algal toxin were around 85% and 92%, respectively. Simultaneously, the gas generation rate was around 380 mL/gCOD. The microbial community structure in the granular sludge of the reactor was complicated, and dominated by coccus and filamentous bacteria. Methanosphaera, Methanolinea, Thermogymnomonas, Methanoregula, Methanomethylovorans, and Methanosaeta were the major microorganisms in the granular sludge. The activities of protease and coenzyme F420 were high in the granular sludge. The intermittent stirring device and the reverse-flow system were further found to overcome the disadvantage of the floating and crusting of cyanobacteria inside the reactor. Meanwhile, the effect of mass transfer inside the reactor can be accelerated to help give the reactor a rapid start.
Project description:When aerobic granular sludge is applied for industrial wastewater treatment, different soluble substrates can be present. For stable granular sludge formation on volatile fatty acids (e.g. acetate), production of storage polymers under anaerobic feeding conditions has been shown to be important. This prevents direct aerobic growth on readily available chemical oxygen demand (COD), which is thought to result in unstable granule formation. Here, we investigate the impact of acetate, methanol, butanol, propanol, propionaldehyde, and valeraldehyde on granular sludge formation at 35 °C. Methanogenic archaea, growing on methanol, were present in the aerobic granular sludge system. Methanol was completely converted to methane and carbon dioxide by the methanogenic archaeum Methanomethylovorans uponensis during the 1-h anaerobic feeding period, despite the relative high dissolved oxygen concentration (3.5 mg O2 L(-1)) during the subsequent 2-h aeration period. Propionaldehyde and valeraldehyde were fully disproportionated anaerobically into their corresponding carboxylic acids and alcohols. The organic acids produced were converted to storage polymers, while the alcohols (produced and from influent) were absorbed onto the granular sludge matrix and converted aerobically. Our observations show that easy biodegradable substrates not converted anaerobically into storage polymers could lead to unstable granular sludge formation. However, when the easy biodegradable COD is absorbed in the granules and/or when the substrate is converted by relatively slow growing bacteria in the aerobic period, stable granulation can occur.