Effects of Ferric Hydroxide on Methanogenesis from Lipids and Long-Chain Fatty Acids in Anaerobic Digestion

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The addition of ferric hydroxide to sludge from a municipal anaerobic digester stimulated the rate of methanogenesis from canola oil when the initial oil concentration was high (4600 mg/L; P < 0.002), but not when it was low (920 mg/L; P > 0.05). Similar trends were observed when oleic acid, a fatty acid that is a major component of canola oil triglycerides, was provided, but the effects were statistically significant only when the initial concentration of ferric hydroxide was also high (18 g/L; P = 0.015). Iron reduction occurred when ferric hydroxide was added to microcosms containing anaerobic digester sludge, but the extent of ferrous iron production was much less in acetate-amended microcosms than in those that were provided with canola oil or oleic acid. Methanogenesis and acetate consumption were completely inhibited when the initial acetate concentration was approximately 5000 mg/L, regardless of the initial ferric hydroxide concentration. The main effect of ferric hydroxide in this system appears to have been a result of stimulation of the rate of fatty acid oxidation.

Keywords: anaerobic degradation; ferric hydroxide; lipids; long-chain fatty acid

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143005X73064

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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