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Biomethanation processes: new insights on the effect of a high H2 partial pressure on microbial communities.

ABSTRACT: Background:Biomethanation is a promising solution to upgrade the CH4 content in biogas. This process consists in the injection of H2 into an anaerobic digester, using the capacity of indigenous hydrogenotrophic methanogens for converting the injected H2 and the CO2 generated from the anaerobic digestion process into CH4. However, the injection of H2 could cause process disturbances by impacting the microbial communities of the anaerobic digester. Better understanding on how the indigenous microbial community can adapt to high H2 partial pressures is therefore required. Results:Seven microbial inocula issued from industrial bioprocesses treating different types of waste were exposed to a high H2 partial pressure in semi-continuous reactors. After 12 days of operation, even though both CH4 and volatile fatty acids (VFA) were produced as end products, one of them was the main product. Acetate was the most abundant VFA, representing up to 94% of the total VFA production. VFA accumulation strongly anti-correlated with CH4 production according to the source of inoculum. Three clusters of inocula were distinguished: (1) inocula leading to CH4 production, (2) inocula leading to the production of methane and VFA in a low proportion, and (3) inocula leading to the accumulation of mostly VFA, mainly acetate. Interestingly, VFA accumulation was highly correlated to a low proportion of archaea in the inocula, a higher amount of homoacetogens than hydrogenotrophic methanogens and, the absence or the very low abundance in members from the Methanosarcinales order. The best methanogenic performances were obtained when hydrogenotrophic methanogens and Methanosarcina sp. co-dominated all along the operation. Conclusions:New insights on the microbial community response to high H2 partial pressure are provided in this work. H2 injection in semi-continuous reactors showed a significant impact on microbial communities and their associated metabolic patterns. Hydrogenotrophic methanogens, Methanobacterium sp. or Methanoculleus sp. were highly selected in the reactors, but the presence of co-dominant Methanosarcinales related species were required to produce higher amounts of CH4 than VFA.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC7419211 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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