Long-chain fatty acid feeding frequency in anaerobic codigestion impacts syntrophic community structure and biokinetics.



Citation:

Ziels RM, Beck DAC, Stensel HD. Long-chain fatty acid feeding frequency in anaerobic codigestion impacts syntrophic community structure and biokinetics. Water Research 2017;117:218-229.

Abstract:

This study investigated the impacts of long-chain fatty acid (LCFA) feeding frequencies on microbial community structure, bioconversion kinetics, and process stability during anaerobic codigestion. Parallel laboratory-scale anaerobic codigesters fed with dairy cattle manure were either pulse-fed every two days or continuously-fed daily, respectively, with oleate (C18:1 ) in incremental step increases over 200 days up to 64% of the influent chemical oxygen demand (COD). The effluent acetate concentration exceeded 3000 mg/L in the continuous-fed codigester at the highest oleate loading rate, but remained below 100 mg/L in the pulse-fed codigester at the end of its 48-hr oleate feed cycle. Maximum substrate conversion rates of oleate (qmax, oleate ) and acetate ( qmax, acetate ) were significantly higher in the pulse-fed codigester compared to the continuous-fed codigester. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing showed that Bacteria and Archaea community profiles diverged based on the codigester LCFA feeding pattern and loading rate. LCFA-degrading Syntrophomonas bacteria were significantly enriched in both LCFA codigesters relative to the control digester. The pulse-fed codigester had the highest community fraction of Syntrophomonas 16S rRNA genes by the end of the experiment with 43% of Bacteria amplicon sequences. qmax, oleate and q values were both significantly correlated to absolute concentrations of Syntrophomonas and Methanosaeta 16S rRNA genes, respectively. Multiple-linear regression models based on the absolute abundance of Syntrophomonas and Methanosaeta taxa provided improved predictions of oleate and acetate bioconversion kinetics, respectively. These results collectively suggest that pulse feeding rather than continuous feeding LCFA during anaerobic codigestion selected for higher microbial bioconversion kinetics and functional stability, which were related to changes in the physiological diversity and adaptive capacity of syntrophic and methanogenic communities.