Specific methanogenic activity of halophilic and mixed cultures in saline wastewater

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ABSTRACT: Wastewater containing high concentrations of salt, are difficult to treat using biological treatment processes, especially anaerobic processes. Limited information is available on methanogenic activity in saline environments. The objective of this research was to investigate the activity of halophilic methanogens, digester sludge and a mixed culture of halophilic and methanogenic bacteria, at various levels of salinity, in terms of lag period and specific methanogenic activity (SMA) at two temperatures. For the halophilic bacteria at 35 o C, the initial SMA ranged from 0.46 to 0.90 g acetate/g VSS.d, but decreased at higher salt concentrations. The maximum SMA varied from 1.2 to 2.08 g acetate/g VSS.d. High sodium chloride concentrations had a significant adverse effect on digester sludge. At 25 o C, at salt concentrations of 30 g/l and above, the digester sludge could not acclimate even in 50 days. Little difference was observed in the maximum SMA of mixed culture and halophilic bacteria at high salt concentrations of 40 –50 g/l. Key words: Anaerobic, halophilic methanogens, salinity, SMA, digester sludge, mixed culture. Specific methanogenic activity of halophilic and mixed cultures in saline wastewater.

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