Influence of heavy metal supplementation on specific methanogenic activity and microbial communities detected in batch anaerobic digesters

Z. Milan, S. Montalvo, N. Ruiz-Tagle, H. Urrutia, ROLANDO ARTURO CHAMY MAGGI, E. Sanchez, R. Borja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Natural and modified zeolites (0.5-1.0 mm) from the Tasajera deposit in Cuba were used to enhance the anaerobic digestion process of synthetic substrates. Natural zeolites were modified by ionic exchange and by adsorption with nickel, cobalt and magnesium. The experiments were carried out by using an inoculum from a full-scale anaerobic reactor treating winery wastewater. Modified natural zeolites not only enhanced the anaerobic digestion process, but also increased the specific methanogenic activity (SMA) of the sludges. The textural and chemical surface characteristics of the modified zeolites were related to the process performance, volatile fatty acid (VFA) production and microbial communities found in the digesters. For the selected dose of modified zeolites [0.05 g/g of volatile suspended solids (VSS)], the lowest concentration was found for cobalt followed by nickel and magnesium. Based on the analyses of anaerobic biofilms, the heavy metal incorporated into the zeolite was shown to have a great influence on the predominance of species. For example, the presence of nickel and cobalt favoured Methanosaeta, while at the same dose magnesic zeolite stimulated the presence of Methanosarcina and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). In digesters with modified zeolites and metal supplementations the values of SMA were higher than those obtained in the control and natural zeolite digesters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1307-1314
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Volume45
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010

Keywords

  • mesophilic anaerobic digestion
  • Metal supplementation
  • microbial communities
  • modified natural zeolites
  • volatile fatty acids (VFA)

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