Project description:We herein analyzed the diversity of microbes involved in anaerobic sulfur oxidation in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor used for treating municipal sewage under low-temperature conditions. Anaerobic sulfur oxidation occurred in the absence of oxygen, with nitrite and nitrate as electron acceptors; however, reactor performance parameters demonstrated that anaerobic conditions were maintained. In order to gain insights into the underlying basis of anaerobic sulfur oxidation, the microbial diversity that exists in the UASB sludge was analyzed comprehensively to determine their identities and contribution to sulfur oxidation. Sludge samples were collected from the UASB reactor over a period of 2 years and used for bacterial 16S rRNA gene-based terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and next-generation sequencing analyses. T-RFLP and sequencing results both showed that microbial community patterns changed markedly from day 537 onwards. Bacteria belonging to the genus Desulforhabdus within the phylum Proteobacteria and uncultured bacteria within the phylum Fusobacteria were the main groups observed during the period of anaerobic sulfur oxidation. Their abundance correlated with temperature, suggesting that these bacterial groups played roles in anaerobic sulfur oxidation in UASB reactors.
Project description:Acetate production from food waste or sewage sludge was evaluated in four semi-continuous anaerobic digestion processes. To examine the importance of inoculum and substrate for acid production, two different inoculum sources (a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and a co-digestion plant treating food and industry waste) and two common substrates (sewage sludge and food waste) were used in process operations. The processes were evaluated with regard to the efficiency of hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis, and methanogenesis and the microbial community structure was determined. Feeding sewage sludge led to mixed acid fermentation and low total acid yield, whereas feeding food waste resulted in the production of high acetate and lactate yields. Inoculum from WWTP with sewage sludge substrate resulted in maintained methane production, despite a low hydraulic retention time. For food waste, the process using inoculum from WWTP produced high levels of lactate (30 g/L) and acetate (10 g/L), while the process initiated with inoculum from the co-digestion plant had higher acetate (25 g/L) and lower lactate (15 g/L) levels. The microbial communities developed during acid production consisted of the major genera Lactobacillus (92-100%) with food waste substrate, and Roseburia (44-45%) and Fastidiosipila (16-36%) with sewage sludge substrate. Use of the outgoing material (hydrolysates) in a biogas production system resulted in a non-significant increase in bio-methane production (+5-20%) compared with direct biogas production from food waste and sewage sludge.
Project description:Methanogenic community structure and dynamics were investigated in two different, replicated anaerobic wastewater treatment reactor configurations [inverted fluidized bed (IFB) and expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB)] treating synthetic dairy wastewater, during operating temperature transitions from 37°C to 25°C, and from 25°C to 15°C, over a 430-day trial. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS) and moving-window analyses, based on quantitative real-time PCR data, along with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiling, demonstrated that the methanogenic communities developed in a different manner in these reactor configurations. A comparable level of performance was recorded for both systems at 37°C and 25°C, but a more dynamic and diverse microbial community in the IFB reactors supported better stability and adaptative capacity towards low temperature operation. The emergence and maintenance of particular bacterial genotypes (phylum Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes) was associated with efficient protein hydrolysis in the IFB, while protein hydrolysis was inefficient in the EGSB. A significant community shift from a Methanobacteriales and Methanosaetaceae towards a Methanomicrobiales-predominated community was demonstrated during operation at 15°C in both reactor configurations.
Project description:The development and activity of a cold-adapting microbial community was monitored during low-temperature anaerobic digestion (LtAD) treatment of wastewater. Two replicate hybrid anaerobic sludge bed-fixed-film reactors treated a synthetic sewage wastewater at 12°C, at organic loading rates of 0.25-1.0 kg chemical oxygen demand (COD) m-3 d-1, over 889 days. The inoculum was obtained from a full-scale anaerobic digestion reactor, which was operated at 37°C. Both LtAD reactors readily degraded the influent with COD removal efficiencies regularly exceeding 78% for both the total and soluble COD fractions. The biomass from both reactors was sampled temporally and tested for activity against hydrolytic and methanogenic substrates at 12°C and 37°C. Data indicated that significantly enhanced low-temperature hydrolytic and methanogenic activity developed in both systems. For example, the hydrolysis rate constant (k) at 12°C had increased 20-30-fold by comparison to the inoculum by day 500. Substrate affinity also increased for hydrolytic substrates at low temperature. Next generation sequencing demonstrated that a shift in a community structure occurred over the trial, involving a 1-log-fold change in 25 SEQS (OTU-free approach) from the inoculum. Microbial community structure changes and process performance were replicable in the LtAD reactors.
Project description:Eukaryotes are important components of ecosystems in wastewater treatment processes. However, little is known about eukaryotic community in anaerobic wastewater treatment systems. In this study, eukaryotic communities in an up flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor treating domestic sewage during two years of operation were investigated using V4 and V9 regions of 18S rRNA gene for amplicon sequencing. In addition, activated sludge and influent sewage samples were also analyzed and used as the references for aerobic eukaryotic community to characterize anaerobic eukaryotes. The amplicon sequence V4 and V9 libraries detected different taxonomic groups, especially from the UASB samples, suggesting that commonly used V4 and V9 primer pairs could produce a bias for eukaryotic communities analysis. Eukaryotic community structures in the UASB reactor were influenced by the immigration of eukaryotes via influent sewage but were clearly different from the influent sewage and activated sludge. Multivariate statistics indicated that protist genera Cyclidium, Platyophrya and Subulatomonas correlated with chemical oxygen demand and suspended solid concentration, and could be used as bioindicators of treatment performance. Uncultured eukaryotes groups were dominant in the UASB reactor, and their physiological roles need to be examined to understand their contributions to anaerobic processes in future studies.
Project description:High solid anaerobic digestion (HSAD) is a rapidly developed anaerobic digestion technique for treating municipal sludge, and has been widely used in Europe and Asia. Recently, the enhanced HSAD process with thermal treatment showed its advantages in both methane production and VS reduction. However, the understanding of the microbial community is still poor. This study investigated microbial communities in a pilot enhanced two-stage HSAD system that degraded waste activated sludge at 9% solid content. The system employed process "thermal pre-treatment (TPT) at 70 °C, thermophilic anaerobic digestion (TAD), and mesophilic anaerobic digestion (MAD)". Hydrogenotrophic methanogens Methanothermobacter spp. dominated the system with relative abundance up to about 100% in both TAD and MAD. Syntrophic acetate oxidation (SAO) bacteria were discovered in TAD, and they converted acetate into H? and CO? to support hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. The microbial composition and conversion route of this system are derived from the high solid content and protein content in raw sludge, as well as the operational conditions. This study could facilitate the understanding of the enhanced HSAD process, and is of academic and industrial importance.
Project description:Bioaugmentation with a mixture of microorganisms (Bacteria and Archaea) was applied to improve the anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge. The study was performed in reactors operating at a temperature of 35 °C in semi-flow mode. Three runs with different doses of bioaugmenting mixture were conducted. Bioaugmentation of sewage sludge improved fermentation and allowed satisfactory biogas/methane yields and a biodegradation efficiency of more than 46%, despite the decrease in hydraulic retention time (HRT) from 20 d to 16.7 d. Moreover, in terms of biogas production, the rate constant k increased from 0.071 h-1 to 0.087 h-1 as doses of the bioaugmenting mixture were increased, as compared to values of 0.066 h-1 and 0.069 h-1 obtained with sewage sludge alone. Next-generation sequencing revealed that Cytophaga sp. predominated among Bacteria in digesters and that the hydrogenotrophic methanogen Methanoculleus sp. was the most abundant genus among Archaea.
Project description:Removal of triclocarban (TCC) and triclosan (TCS) from wastewater is a function of adsorption, abiotic degradation, and microbial mineralization or transformation, reactions that are not currently controlled or optimized in the pollution control infrastructure of standard wastewater treatment. Here, we report on the levels of eight transformation products, human metabolites, and manufacturing byproducts of TCC and TCS in raw and treated sewage sludge. Two sample sets were studied: samples collected once from 14 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) representing nine states, and multiple samples collected from one WWTP monitored for 12 months. Time-course analysis of significant mass fluxes (?=0.01) indicate that transformation of TCC (dechlorination) and TCS (methylation) occurred during sewage conveyance and treatment. Strong linear correlations were found between TCC and the human metabolite 2'-hydroxy-TCC (r=0.84), and between the TCC-dechlorination products dichlorocarbanilide (DCC) and monochlorocarbanilide (r=0.99). Mass ratios of DCC-to-TCC and of methyl-triclosan (MeTCS)-to-TCS, serving as indicators of transformation activity, revealed that transformation was widespread under different treatment regimes across the WWTPs sampled, though the degree of transformation varied significantly among study sites (?=0.01). The analysis of sludge sampled before and after different unit operation steps (i.e., anaerobic digestion, sludge heat treatment, and sludge drying) yielded insights into the extent and location of TCC and TCS transformation. Results showed anaerobic digestion to be important for MeTCS transformation (37-74%), whereas its contribution to partial TCC dechlorination was limited (0.4-2.1%). This longitudinal and nationwide survey is the first to report the occurrence of transformation products, human metabolites, and manufacturing byproducts of TCC and TCS in sewage sludge.
Project description:The US annually produces 79 million dry tons of liquid organic waste including sewage sludge. Anaerobic digestion can only reduce the sludge volume by 50% in mass, leaving the other half as a growing waste management and hygienic problem. Hydrothermal processing (HTP), a set of several chemical digestion processes, could be used to convert sewage sludge into valuable products and minimize potential environmental pollution risks. Specifically, hydrothermal carbonization and hydrothermal liquefaction have been extensively studied to sustainably manage sludge. Two of the main reasons for this are the high upscalability of HTP for public waste management and that it is estimated that HTP can recover eleven times more energy from waste products than landfilling. An integration of HTP with anaerobic digestion or recycling the soluble organics (in the HTP aqueous products) into the HTP process could lead to a higher overall rate of energy recovery for municipal sewage sludge.
Project description:Sewage sludges generation and their disposal have become one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. They have great microbial diversity that may impact wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) efficiency and soil quality whether used as fertilizers. Therefore, this research aimed to characterize microbial community diversity and structure of 19 sewage sludges from São Paulo, Brazil, as well as to draw their relations to sludge sources [domestic and mixed (domestic+industrial)], biological treatments (redox conditions and liming), and chemical attributes, using molecular biology as a tool. All sludges revealed high bacterial diversity, but their sources and redox operating conditions as well as liming did not consistently affect bacterial community structures. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes; whereas Clostridium was the dominant genus followed by Treponema, Propionibacterium, Syntrophus, and Desulfobulbus. The sludge samples could be clustered into six groups (C1 to C6) according their microbial structure similarities. Very high pH (?11.9) was the main sludge attribute segregating C6, that presented very distinct microbial structure from the others. Its most dominant genera were Propionibacterium > > Comamonas > Brevundimonas > Methylobacterium ?Stenotrophomonas ?Cloacibacterium. The other clusters' dominant genera were Clostridium > > Treponema > Desulfobulbus ?Syntrophus. Moreover, high Fe and S were important modulators of microbial structure in certain sludges undertaking anaerobic treatment and having relatively low N-Kj, B, and P contents (C5). However, high N-Kj, B, P, and low Fe and Al contents were typical of domestic, unlimed, and aerobically treated sludges (C1). In general, heavy metals had little impact on microbial community structure of the sludges. However, our sludges shared a common core of 77 bacteria, mostly Clostridium, Treponema, Syntrophus, and Comamonas. They should dictate microbial functioning within WWTPs, except by SS12 and SS13.