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The Effect of Organic and Hydraulic Shock Loads on the Production of Soluble Microbial Products in Anaerobic Digesters

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Abstract:

Anaerobic chemostats were used to investigate the effects of organic and hydraulic shock loads on the production of soluble microbial products (SMP). Production of SMP was found to increase during glucose spikes, reaching up 15% of the influent chemical oxygen demand. These SMP appear to be utilization-associated products produced as a result of the temporarily high organic load, and chemical analysis and ultrafiltration experiments revealed that most of these compounds are difficult to identify and that the majority of them are present in the low molecular weight (MW) range. Production of SMP also increased when the hydraulic retention time was reduced from 15 to 3 days, and an increase in DNA concentration in the bulk solution suggested enhanced cell lysis. Although the cause of lysis was not clear, it is believed that most of the SMP produced under such conditions were biomass-associated products following cell death. While the majority of these compounds lay in the low MW range, as much as 35% were found to have MWs greater than 1 kDa. During the period when the anaerobic chemostat was fed no alkalinity and the pH remained lower than 6.5 for more than a week, a slightly higher production of SMP and a shift in the MW distribution towards the production of higher MW SMP was observed.

Keywords: CHARACTERIZATION OF RESIDUAL CHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND; EXTRACELLULAR POLYMERS; MOLECULAR WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION; SHOCK LOADS; SOLUBLE MICROBIAL PRODUCTS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/106143004X141852

Publication date: 2004-11-01

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