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Bioresour Technol. 2013 Feb;129:411-20. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.11.056. Epub 2012 Nov 24.

Comparison of non-agitated and agitated batch, thermophilic anaerobic digestion of sugarbeet tailings.

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  • 1Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, United States.


Sugar beet tailings were anaerobically digested at non-agitated and agitated conditions in identical thermophilic batch reactors. The average methane yield in the agitated digester was only 74% of that in the non-agitated digester. Ninety percent of the ultimate methane yield was produced in approximately 5 days in the non-agitated digester whereas it took 12 days in agitated digester. Even upon using an active inoculum from non-agitated digester the methane rate and yield was low in the agitated digester. On the other hand when the poorly performing inoculum from the agitated digester was transferred to the non-agitated digester, its activity was immediately enhanced. The non-agitated digester harbored a diverse microbial community with phylotypes Methanoculleus and Methanosarcina being dominant methanogens. Methanosaeta was the only methanogen detected in the agitated digester. It also contained a hydrogen-producing bacterial phylotype Petrotoga in high proportion which was not detected in the other digester.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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