Application of Response Surface Analysis to Evaluate the Effect of Concentrations of Ammonia and Propionic Acid on Acetate-Utilizing Methanogenesis
Ammonia and propionate are known inhibitors of anaerobic methanogenesis at higher concentrations, and are likely to coexist in digesters treating high-strength wastewater. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess the effects of ammonia and propionate on acetate-utilizing methanogenesis when they coexist. Response surface analysis with face-centered central composite design was used to explore the total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) level of 2–5 g/L and the propionate level of 2–8 g/L in
... –8 g/L in acetate-fed batch incubation. Two models were successfully derived to estimate the lag period and the methane yield in response to the concentrations of the two chemicals. The lag period was affected by both inhibitors, with clues obtained of a synergistic effect at a higher concentration rage ([TAN] > 3.5 g/L and [propionate] > 5 g/L). The methane yield was also affected by the two inhibitors; between the two, it was more significantly dependent on the TAN concentration than on the propionate concentration. Real-time PCR showed that Methanosarcinaceae was the major methanogen group in this system. The results of this study improve our understanding of the inhibition of biogas reactors.