The microbial community of a thermophilic two-stage process was monitored during two-months operation and compared to a conventional single-stage process. Qualitative and quantitative microbial dynamics were analysed by Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) and real-time PCR techniques, respectively. The bacterial community was dominated by heat-shock resistant, spore-forming clostridia in the two-stage process, whereas a more diverse and dynamic community (Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Synergistes) was observed in the single-stage process. A significant evolution of bacterial community occurred over time in the acidogenic phase of the two-phase process with the selection of few dominant species associated to stable hydrogen production. The archaeal community, dominated by the acetoclastic Methanosarcinales in both methanogen reactors, showed a significant diversity change in the single-stage process after a period of adaptation to the feeding conditions, compared to a constant stability in the methanogenic reactor of the two-stage process. The more diverse and dynamic bacterial and archaeal community of single-stage process compared to the two-stage process accounted for the best degradation activity, and consequently the best performance, in this reactor. The microbiological perspective proved a useful tool for a better understanding and comparison of anaerobic digestion processes.
- Bacterial and archaeal anaerobic consortia
- Real-time PCR
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecological Modeling
- Water Science and Technology
- Waste Management and Disposal