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Bioresour Technol. 2010 Jun;101(11):3952-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.01.028. Epub 2010 Feb 2.

Microbial population dynamics during startup of a full-scale anaerobic digester treating industrial food waste in Kyoto eco-energy project.

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Division of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


The microbial community in a full-scale anaerobic digester (2300m3) treating industrial food waste in the Kyoto Eco-Energy Project was analyzed using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism for eubacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA genes. Both thermophilic and mesophilic sludge of treated swine waste were seeded to the digestion tank. During the 150-day startup period, coffee grounds as a main food waste, along with potato, kelp and boiled beans, tofu, bean curd lees, and deep-fried bean curd were fed to the digestion process step-by-step (max. 40t/d). Finally, the methane yield reached 360m3/t-feed with 40days' retention time, although temporary accumulation of propionate was observed. Eubacterial communities that formed in the thermophilic digestion tank differed greatly from both thermophilic and mesophilic types of seed sludge. Results suggest that the Actinomyces/Thermomonospora and Ralstonia/Shewanella were contributors for hydrolyzation and degradation of food waste into volatile fatty acids. Acetate-utilizing methanogens, Methanosaeta, were dominant in seed sludges of both types, but they decreased drastically during processing in the digestion tank. Methanosarcina and Methanobrevibacter/Methanobacterium were, respectively, possible main contributors for methane production from acetate and H2 plus CO2.

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