Simultaneous production of acetate and methane from glycerol by selective enrichment of hydrogenotrophic methanogens in extreme-thermophilic (70°C) mixed culture fermentation

Fang Zhang, Yan Zhang, Yun Chen, Kun Dai, Mark C M van Loosdrecht, Raymond J. Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The feasibility of simultaneous production of acetate and methane from glycerol was investigated by selective enrichment of hydrogenotrophic methanogens in an extreme-thermophilic (70. °C) fermentation. Fed-batch experiments showed acetate was produced at the concentration up to 13.0. g/L. A stable operation of the continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) was reached within 100. days. Acetate accounted for more than 90 w/w% of metabolites in the fermentation liquid. The yields of methane and acetate were close to the theoretical yields with 0.74-0.80. mol-methane/mol-glycerol and 0.63-0.70. mol-acetate/mol-glycerol. The obtained microbial community was characterized. Hydrogenotrophic methanogens, mainly Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus formed 93% of the methanogenogenic community. This confirms that a high temperature (70. °C) could effectively select for hydrogenotrophic methanogenic archaea. Thermoanaerobacter spp. was the main bacterium forming 91.5% of the bacterial population. This work demonstrated the conversion of the byproduct of biodiesel production, glycerol, to acetate as a chemical and biogas for energy generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-333
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Energy
Volume148
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2015

Keywords

  • Acetate
  • Extreme thermophilic
  • Glycerol
  • Hydrogenotrophic methanogens
  • Methane
  • Mixed culture fermentation

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