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EFFECTS OF FERRIC HYDROXIDE ON METHANOGENESIS FROM LIPIDS AND LONG-CHAIN FATTY ACIDS IN ANAEROBIC DIGESTION

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Addition of ferric hydroxide to sludge from a municipal anaerobic digester stimulated the rate of methanogenesis from canola oil when the oil was present at an initial concentration of 4600 mg/L. Similar trends were observed when oleic acid, a long-chain fatty acid that is a major component of canola oil triglycerides, was provided at 4400 mg/L, but the effects on the rate of methane production from oleic acid were not statistically significant (P = 0.093). Although iron reduction occurred whenever ferric hydroxide was added to anaerobic sludge microcosms containing canola oil or oleic acid, it had no effect on the rate of methane production from these substrates when the initial concentrations were about 900 mg/L. Iron reduction occurred in acetate-amended anaerobic sludge microcosms, but the extent of Fe(II) production was much less than was observed in microcosms provided with canola oil or oleic acid. Methanogenesis and acetate consumption were completely inhibited when the initial acetate concentration was about 5000 mg/L, regardless of the initial concentration of ferric hydroxide. The main effect of ferric hydroxide in this system appears to have been due to stimulation of the rate of fatty acid oxidation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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