Assistant role of bioelectrode on methanogenic reactor under ammonia stress

Liwen Luo, Suyun Xu*, Ammaiyappan Selvam, Jonathan W C WONG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


To assess the role of abiotic/biotic electrode and electric field for enhancing methanogenesis under ammonia stress, three sets were conducted, i.e. R1 (titanium electrode + closed circuit), R2 (graphite felt + closed circuit), R3 (graphite felt + open circuit). Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) degradation and methane generation were gradually inhibited in all reactors when elevating NH4+-N to 4 g/L; nevertheless, butyrate and propionate degradation rates in R2 and R3 were enhanced by 10–70% as compared to R1. Under the extremely high stress of NH4+-N (6 g/L), insignificant difference was found among three tests and the methanogenesis were seriously hampered. Under ammonium stress, abundance of Methanobacterium significantly increased without electricity stimulation, however, acetoclastic Methanosaeta was found to survive and even increase in R2. Furthermore, Methanosaeta was enriched on graphite felt biofilm as compared to the suspended sludge, indicating the assistant role of bioelectrode for the methanogenesis under ammonium stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-81
Number of pages10
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

User-Defined Keywords

  • Acetate
  • Biofilm
  • Methanosarcina
  • Microbial electrolysis cells
  • NH-N


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