Real evidence about zeolite as microorganisms immobilizer in anaerobic fluidized bed reactors
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Using the scanning electronic microscopy, it was observed that natural zeolite possesses excellent physical characteristics as a support medium in anaerobic fluidized bed reactors (AFBR). Samples for biomass analysis were taken from two identical laboratory-scale AFBR (R-1 and R-2), which were operated with 25% of fluidization. These reactors treated distillery wastewaters (vinasses) at mesophilic temperature (30 2 8C). The experiments were carried out with 0.25–0.50 and 0.50–0.80 mm zeolite particle diameter in reactors R-1 and R-2, respectively. The biomass concentration attached to zeolite in both reactors was found to be in the range of 40–45 g volatile solids/l. COD removal efficiencies as high as 90% were achieved at organic loading rate (OLRs) of up to 20 g COD/l day. The volatile fatty acid (VFA) levels were always lower that the suggested limits for digester failure. The yield coefficient of methane production was 0.29 l CH4(at STP)/g COD consumed and was virtually independent of the OLR applied. A hybridization technique (fluorescence in situ hybridization, FISH) helped determine the predominant anaerobic microorganisms that colonized the natural zeolite, which were found to be Methanosaeta and Methanosarcinaceae, observing a reduced number of sulphate reducing bacteria. The results obtained for reactors R-1 and R-2 were very similar, showing that the particle size did not significantly influence the microbial community immobilized on zeolite.
Artículo de publicación ISI
FONDECYT Project No. 1020201, Chile, and to the "Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia" and "Junta de Anadalucía" of Spain
Quote ItemProcess Biochemistry 42 (2007) 721–728
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