Startup performance of microbial electrolysis cell assisted anaerobic digester (MEC-AD) with pre-acclimated activated carbon

Suyun Xu*, Yuchen Zhang, Liwen Luo, Hongbo Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The feasibility of using pre-acclimated activated carbon to start up microbial electrolysis cell assisted anaerobic digester (MEC-AD) has been testified in this study. Two identical lab-scale digesters were separately packed with granular activated carbon (GAC) and powered activated carbon (PAC), which were initially acclimated as anaerobic digester and then transferred to MEC-AD. When a voltage of 0.5 V was applied, increased methane generation and substrate removal rates were observed. Hydrogenotrophic methanogens predominated in both digesters before and after transition, indicating that the pre-cultured microbial community on carbon materials could provide necessary microbiome favorable for starting up MECs. Although a low abundance of Geobacter was detected in inoculum, a rapid propagation could be realized when reactors were subjected to the electro-stimulation. The abundance of Methanosarcina closely attached to PAC was four times than that of GAC, which might be partially contributed to the improved resilience of anaerobic digester subjected to electro-stimulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology Reports
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

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

User-Defined Keywords

  • Activated carbon
  • Direct interspecies electron transfer
  • Geobacter
  • Hydrogenotrophic methanogens
  • Volatile fatty acids

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