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Research article2018Peer reviewed

An explanation of the methanogenic pathway for methane production in anaerobic digestion of nitrogen-rich materials under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions

Yin, Dong-Min; Westerholm, Maria; Qiao, Wei; Bi, Shao-Jie; Wandera, Simon M.; Fan, Run; Jiang, Meng-Meng; Dong, Ren-Jie


The impact of temperature on the anaerobic digestion of chicken manure was investigated by studying the process performance and pathway for continuously-fed digesters under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. The mesophilic digester obtained a 15% higher methane yield compared with the thermophilic digester. Mesophilic and thermophilic digester had free ammonia of 31 and 145 mg/L, respectively. The stable carbon isotope analysis indicated that 41% and 50% of acetate was converted to methane through the syntrophic acetate oxidation and hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis (SAO-HM) pathway under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions, respectively. The genus Pseudomonas represented 10% and 16% under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions, respectively. A high abundance of the methanogens genus Methanoculleus (94% of total methanogens) in mesophilic and the genus Methanothermobacter (96%) in thermophilic digesters indicated they were the main hydrogenotrophic partners in SAO. The present study therefore illustrated that methanogenic pathway shifting, induced by free ammonia, closely correlated to the process performance.


Methanogenic pathway; Free ammonia; Microbial community; Mesophilic; Thermophilic

Published in

Bioresource Technology
2018, Volume: 264, pages: 42-50

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Renewable Bioenergy Research

    Publication identifier


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