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.
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