Characterisation of microbial communities for improved management of anaerobic digestion of food waste

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T1 - Characterisation of microbial communities for improved management of anaerobic digestion of food waste

AU - de Jonge, Nadieh

AU - Davidsson, Åsa

AU - la Cour Jansen, Jes

AU - Nielsen, Jeppe Lund

PY - 2020/11/1

Y1 - 2020/11/1

N2 - Anaerobic digestion of food waste is an attractive and increasingly popular technology within waste management and energy recovery. A better understanding of the microbiology associated with anaerobic digestion of food waste will provide new insight into the operational conditions required for optimizing this process, as well as its potential for utilisation in co-digestion systems. Eighteen full-scale reactors processing varying proportions of food waste under diverse operational configurations were subjected to microbial community analysis by amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA and mcrA genes to capture the bacterial and methanogenic populations. Statistical correlations between microbial populations, plant design and operating conditions revealed that the microbial communities were shaped by operational parameters such as the primary substrate type and operational temperature, while the methanogenic communities showed a more reactor specific distribution. The distribution of microbes based on the waste processed in the surveyed digesters was explored, as well as the presence of specialist populations such as syntrophs and methanogens. Food waste digester communities were not associated with a strong microbial fingerprint compared to other waste types (wastewater and manure) but contained greater abundance and unique syntrophic acetate oxidising populations, suggesting that co-digestion with food waste may improve the functional diversity of anaerobic digesters.

AB - Anaerobic digestion of food waste is an attractive and increasingly popular technology within waste management and energy recovery. A better understanding of the microbiology associated with anaerobic digestion of food waste will provide new insight into the operational conditions required for optimizing this process, as well as its potential for utilisation in co-digestion systems. Eighteen full-scale reactors processing varying proportions of food waste under diverse operational configurations were subjected to microbial community analysis by amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA and mcrA genes to capture the bacterial and methanogenic populations. Statistical correlations between microbial populations, plant design and operating conditions revealed that the microbial communities were shaped by operational parameters such as the primary substrate type and operational temperature, while the methanogenic communities showed a more reactor specific distribution. The distribution of microbes based on the waste processed in the surveyed digesters was explored, as well as the presence of specialist populations such as syntrophs and methanogens. Food waste digester communities were not associated with a strong microbial fingerprint compared to other waste types (wastewater and manure) but contained greater abundance and unique syntrophic acetate oxidising populations, suggesting that co-digestion with food waste may improve the functional diversity of anaerobic digesters.

KW - anaerobic digestion

KW - Microbial communities

KW - food waste

U2 - 10.1016/j.wasman.2020.07.047

DO - 10.1016/j.wasman.2020.07.047

M3 - Article

C2 - 32823077

VL - 117

SP - 124

EP - 135

JO - Waste Management: international journal of integrated waste management, science and technology

JF - Waste Management: international journal of integrated waste management, science and technology

SN - 0956-053X

ER -