Matching Items (10)

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Impact of Ammonium on Syntrophic Organohalide-Respiring and Fermenting Microbial Communities

Description

Syntrophic interactions between organohalide-respiring and fermentative microorganisms are critical for effective bioremediation of halogenated compounds. This work investigated the effect of ammonium concentration (up to 4 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N)

Syntrophic interactions between organohalide-respiring and fermentative microorganisms are critical for effective bioremediation of halogenated compounds. This work investigated the effect of ammonium concentration (up to 4 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N) on trichloroethene-reducing Dehalococcoides mccartyi and Geobacteraceae in microbial communities fed lactate and methanol. We found that production of ethene by D. mccartyi occurred in mineral medium containing ≤2 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N and in landfill leachate. For the partial reduction of trichloroethene (TCE) to cis-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) at ≥1 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N, organohalide-respiring dynamics shifted from D. mccartyi and Geobacteraceae to mainly D. mccartyi. An increasing concentration of ammonium was coupled to lower metabolic rates, longer lag times, and lower gene abundances for all microbial processes studied. The methanol fermentation pathway to acetate and H[subscript 2] was conserved, regardless of the ammonium concentration provided. However, lactate fermentation shifted from propionic to acetogenic at concentrations of ≥2 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N. Our study findings strongly support a tolerance of D. mccartyi to high ammonium concentrations, highlighting the feasibility of organohalide respiration in ammonium-contaminated subsurface environments.

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Date Created
  • 2016-04-20

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Draft Genome Sequence of the Gram-Positive Thermophilic Iron Reducer Thermincola ferriacetica Strain Z-0001T

Description

A 3.19-Mbp draft genome of the Gram-positive thermophilic iron-reducing Firmicutes isolate from the Peptococcaceae family, Thermincola ferriacetica Z-0001, was assembled at ~100× coverage from 100-bp paired-end Illumina reads. The draft

A 3.19-Mbp draft genome of the Gram-positive thermophilic iron-reducing Firmicutes isolate from the Peptococcaceae family, Thermincola ferriacetica Z-0001, was assembled at ~100× coverage from 100-bp paired-end Illumina reads. The draft genome contains 3,274 predicted genes (3,187 protein coding genes) and putative multiheme c-type cytochromes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-09-24

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Archaea and Bacteria Acclimate to High Total Ammonia in a Methanogenic Reactor Treating Swine Waste

Description

Inhibition by ammonium at concentrations above 1000 mgN/L is known to harm the methanogenesis phase of anaerobic digestion. We anaerobically digested swine waste and achieved steady state COD-removal efficiency of around

Inhibition by ammonium at concentrations above 1000 mgN/L is known to harm the methanogenesis phase of anaerobic digestion. We anaerobically digested swine waste and achieved steady state COD-removal efficiency of around 52% with no fatty-acid or H[subscript 2] accumulation. As the anaerobic microbial community adapted to the gradual increase of total ammonia-N (NH[subscript 3]-N) from 890 ± 295 to 2040 ± 30 mg/L, the Bacterial and Archaeal communities became less diverse. Phylotypes most closely related to hydrogenotrophic Methanoculleus (36.4%) and Methanobrevibacter (11.6%), along with acetoclastic Methanosaeta (29.3%), became the most abundant Archaeal sequences during acclimation. This was accompanied by a sharp increase in the relative abundances of phylotypes most closely related to acetogens and fatty-acid producers (Clostridium, Coprococcus, and Sphaerochaeta) and syntrophic fatty-acid Bacteria (Syntrophomonas, Clostridium, Clostridiaceae species, and Cloacamonaceae species) that have metabolic capabilities for butyrate and propionate fermentation, as well as for reverse acetogenesis. Our results provide evidence countering a prevailing theory that acetoclastic methanogens are selectively inhibited when the total ammonia-N concentration is greater than ~1000 mgN/L. Instead, acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogens coexisted in the presence of total ammonia-N of ~2000 mgN/L by establishing syntrophic relationships with fatty-acid fermenters, as well as homoacetogens able to carry out forward and reverse acetogenesis.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-08-11

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Effects of pulsed electric field treatment on enhancing lipid recovery from the microalga, Scenedesmus

Description

Chloroform and methanol are superior solvents for lipid extraction from photosynthetic microorganisms, because they can overcome the resistance offered by the cell walls and membranes, but they are too toxic

Chloroform and methanol are superior solvents for lipid extraction from photosynthetic microorganisms, because they can overcome the resistance offered by the cell walls and membranes, but they are too toxic and expensive to use for large-scale fuel production. Biomass from the photosynthetic microalga Scenedesmus, subjected to a commercially available pre-treatment technology called Focused-Pulsed® (FP), yielded 3.1-fold more crude lipid and fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) after extraction with a range of solvents. FP treatment increased the FAME-to-crude-lipid ratio for all solvents, which means that the extraction of non-lipid materials was minimized, while the FAME profile itself was unchanged compared to the control. FP treatment also made it possible to use only a small proportion of chloroform and methanol, along with isopropanol, to obtain equivalent yields of lipid and FAME as with 100% chloroform plus methanol.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-12-01

Improving lipid recovery from Scenedesmus wet biomass by surfactant-assisted disruption

Description

Microalgae-derived lipids are good sources of biofuel, but extracting them involves high cost, energy
expenditure, and environmental risk. Surfactant treatment to disrupt Scenedesmus biomass was evaluated
as a means to

Microalgae-derived lipids are good sources of biofuel, but extracting them involves high cost, energy
expenditure, and environmental risk. Surfactant treatment to disrupt Scenedesmus biomass was evaluated
as a means to make solvent extraction more efficient. Surfactant treatment increased the recovery of fatty
acid methyl ester (FAME) by as much as 16-fold vs. untreated biomass using isopropanol extraction, and
nearly 100% FAME recovery was possible without any Folch solvent, which is toxic and expensive. Surfactant
treatment caused cell disruption and morphological changes to the cell membrane, as documented by
transmission electron microscopy and flow cytometry. Surfactant treatment made it possible to extract wet
biomass at room temperature, which avoids the expense and energy cost associated with heating
and drying of biomass during the extraction process. The best FAME recovery was obtained from highlipid
biomass treated with Myristyltrimethylammonium bromide (MTAB)- and 3-(decyldimethylammonio)-
propanesulfonate inner salt (3_DAPS)-surfactants using a mixed solvent (hexane : isopropanol = 1 : 1, v/v)
vortexed for just 1 min; this was as much as 160-fold higher than untreated biomass. The critical micelle
concentration of the surfactants played a major role in dictating extraction performance, but the growth
stage of the biomass had an even larger impact on how well the surfactants disrupted the cells and
improved lipid extraction. Surfactant treatment had minimal impact on extracted-FAME profiles and,
consequently, fuel-feedstock quality. This work shows that surfactant treatment is a promising strategy for
more efficient, sustainable, and economical extraction of fuel feedstock from microalgae.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-10-20

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Role of bicarbonate as a pH buffer and electron sink in microbial dechlorination of chloroethenes

Description

Background
Buffering to achieve pH control is crucial for successful trichloroethene (TCE) anaerobic bioremediation. Bicarbonate (HCO3−) is the natural buffer in groundwater and the buffer of choice in the laboratory

Background
Buffering to achieve pH control is crucial for successful trichloroethene (TCE) anaerobic bioremediation. Bicarbonate (HCO3−) is the natural buffer in groundwater and the buffer of choice in the laboratory and at contaminated sites undergoing biological treatment with organohalide respiring microorganisms. However, HCO3− also serves as the electron acceptor for hydrogenotrophic methanogens and hydrogenotrophic homoacetogens, two microbial groups competing with organohalide respirers for hydrogen (H2). We studied the effect of HCO3− as a buffering agent and the effect of HCO3−-consuming reactions in a range of concentrations (2.5-30 mM) with an initial pH of 7.5 in H2-fed TCE reductively dechlorinating communities containing Dehalococcoides, hydrogenotrophic methanogens, and hydrogenotrophic homoacetogens.
Results
Rate differences in TCE dechlorination were observed as a result of added varying HCO3− concentrations due to H2-fed electrons channeled towards methanogenesis and homoacetogenesis and pH increases (up to 8.7) from biological HCO3− consumption. Significantly faster dechlorination rates were noted at all HCO3− concentrations tested when the pH buffering was improved by providing 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid (HEPES) as an additional buffer. Electron balances and quantitative PCR revealed that methanogenesis was the main electron sink when the initial HCO3− concentrations were 2.5 and 5 mM, while homoacetogenesis was the dominant process and sink when 10 and 30 mM HCO3− were provided initially.
Conclusions
Our study reveals that HCO3− is an important variable for bioremediation of chloroethenes as it has a prominent role as an electron acceptor for methanogenesis and homoacetogenesis. It also illustrates the changes in rates and extent of reductive dechlorination resulting from the combined effect of electron donor competition stimulated by HCO3− and the changes in pH exerted by methanogens and homoacetogens.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012-09-13

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Powerful fermentative hydrogen evolution of photosynthate in the cyanobacteriuni Lyngbya aestuarii BL J mediated by a bidirectional hydrogenase

Description

Cyanobacteria are considered good models for biohydrogen production because they are relatively simple organisms with a demonstrable ability to generate H[subscript 2] under certain physiological conditions. However, most produce only

Cyanobacteria are considered good models for biohydrogen production because they are relatively simple organisms with a demonstrable ability to generate H[subscript 2] under certain physiological conditions. However, most produce only little H[subscript 2], revert readily to H[subscript 2] consumption, and suffer from hydrogenase sensitivity to O[subscript 2]. Strains of the cyanobacteria Lyngbya aestuarii and Microcoleus chthonoplastes obtained from marine intertidal cyanobacterial mats were recently found to display much better H[subscript 2] production potential. Because of their ecological origin in environments that become quickly anoxic in the dark, we hypothesized that this differential ability may have evolved to serve a role in the fermentation of the photosynthate. Here we show that, when forced to ferment internal substrate, these cyanobacteria display desirable characteristics of physiological H[subscript 2] production. Among them, the strain L. aestuarii BL J had the fastest specific rates and attained the highest H[subscript 2] concentrations during fermentation of photosynthate, which proceeded via a mixed acid fermentation pathway to yield acetate, ethanol, lactate, H[subscript 2], CO[subscript 2], and pyruvate. Contrary to expectations, the H[subscript 2] yield per mole of glucose was only average compared to that of other cyanobacteria. Thermodynamic analyses point to the use of electron donors more electronegative than NAD(P)H in Lyngbya hydrogenases as the basis for its strong H[subscript 2] production ability. In any event, the high specific rates and H[subscript 2] concentrations coupled with the lack of reversibility of the enzyme, at the expense of internal, photosynthetically generated reductants, makes L. aestuarii BL J and/or its enzymes, a potentially feasible platform for large-scale H[subscript 2] production.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-12-10

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Anaerobic Digestion Kinetics of Batch Methanogenic and Electrogenic Systems

Description

Eighty-two percent of the United States population reside in urban areas. The centralized treatment of the municipal wastewater produced by this population is a huge energy expenditure, up to three

Eighty-two percent of the United States population reside in urban areas. The centralized treatment of the municipal wastewater produced by this population is a huge energy expenditure, up to three percent of the entire energy budget of the country. A portion of this energy is able to be recovered through the process of anaerobic sludge digestion. Typically, this technology converts the solids separated and generated during the wastewater treatment process into methane, a combustible gas that may be burned to generate electricity. Designing and optimizing anaerobic digestion systems requires the measurement of degradation rates for waste-specific kinetic parameters. In this work, I discuss the ways these kinetic parameters are typically measured. I recommend and demonstrate improvements to these commonly used measuring techniques. I provide experimental results of batch kinetic experiments exploring the effect of sludge pretreatment, a process designed to facilitate rapid breakdown of recalcitrant solids, on energy recovery rates. I explore the use of microbial electrochemical cells, an alternative energy recovery technology able to produce electricity directly from sludge digestion, as precise reporters of degradation kinetics. Finally, I examine a fundamental kinetic limitation of microbial electrochemical cells, acidification of the anode respiring biofilm, to improve their performance as kinetic sensors or energy recovery technologies.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Anaerobic conversion of primary sludge to resources in microbial electrochemical cells

Description

Microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) serve as an alternative anaerobic technology to anaerobic digestion for efficient energy recovery from high-strength organic wastes such as primary sludge (PS). The overarching goal

Microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) serve as an alternative anaerobic technology to anaerobic digestion for efficient energy recovery from high-strength organic wastes such as primary sludge (PS). The overarching goal of my research was to address energy conversion from PS to useful resources (e.g. hydrogen or hydrogen peroxide) through bio- and electro-chemical anaerobic conversion processes in MXCs.

First, a new flat-pate microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) was designed with high surface area anodes using carbon fibers, but without creating a large distance between the anode and the cathode (<0.5 cm) to reduce Ohmic overpotential. Through the improved design, operation, and electrochemical characterization, the applied voltages were reduced from 1.1 to ~0.85 V, at 10 A m-2. Second, PS conversion was examined through hydrolysis, fermentation, methanogenesis, and/or anode respiration. Since pretreatment often is required to accelerate hydrolysis of organic solids, I evaluated pulsed electric field technology on PS showing a modest improvement of energy conversion through methanogenesis and fermentation, as compared to the conversion from waste activated sludge (WAS) or WAS+PS. Then, a two-stage system (prefermented PS-fed MEC) yielded successful performance in terms of Coulombic efficiency (95%), Coulombic recovery (CR, 80%), and COD-removal efficiency (85%). However, overall PS conversion to electrical current (or CR) through pre-fermentation and MEC, was just ~16%. Next, a single-stage system (direct PS-fed MEC) with semi-continuous operation showed 34% CR at a 9-day hydraulic retention time. The PS-fed MEC also showed an important pH dependency, in which high pH (> 8) in the anode chamber improved anode respiration along with methanogen inhibition. Finally, H2O2 was produced in a PS-fed microbial electrochemical cell with a low energy requirement (~0.87 kWh per kg H2O2). These research developments will provide groundbreaking knowledge for MXC design, commercial application, and anaerobic energy conversion from other high-strength organic wastes to resources.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Towards improving electron recovery and Coulombic efficiency of microbial electrochemical cells fed with fermentable electron donors

Description

The microbial electrochemical cell (MXC) is a novel environmental-biotechnology platform for renewable energy production from waste streams. The two main goals of MXCs are recovery of renewable energy and production

The microbial electrochemical cell (MXC) is a novel environmental-biotechnology platform for renewable energy production from waste streams. The two main goals of MXCs are recovery of renewable energy and production of clean water. Up to now, energy recovery, Coulombic efficiency (CE), and treatment efficiency of MXCs fed with real wastewater have been low. Therefore, the overarching goal of my research was to address the main causes for these low efficiencies; this knowledge will advance MXCs technology toward commercialization.

First, I found that fermentation, not anode respiration, was the rate-limiting step for achieving complete organics removal, along with high current densities and CE. The best performance was achieved by doing most of the fermentation in an independent reactor that preceded the MXC. I also outlined how the efficiency of fermentation inside MXCs can be enhanced in order to make MXCs-based technologies cost-competitive with other anaerobic environmental biotechnologies. I revealed that the carbohydrate and protein contents and the BOD5/COD ratio governed the efficiency of organic-matter fermentation: high protein content and low BOD5/COD ratio were the main causes for low fermentation efficiency.

Next, I showed how a high ammonium concentration can provide kinetic and metabolic advantages or disadvantages for anode-respiring bacteria (ARB) over their competitors, particularly methanogens. When exposed to a relatively high ammonium concentration (i.e., > 2.2 g total ammonia-nitrogen (TAN)/L), the ARB were forced to divert a greater electron flow toward current generation and, consequently, had lower net biomass yield. However, the ARB were relatively more resistant to high free ammonia-nitrogen (FAN) concentrations, up to 200 mg FAN/L. I used FAN to manage ecological interactions among ARB and non-ARB in an MXC fed with fermentable substrate (glucose). Utilizing a combination of chemical, electrochemical, and genomic tools, I found that increased FAN led to higher CE and lower methane (CH4) production by suppressing methanogens. Thus, managing FAN offers a practical means to suppress methanogenesis, instead of using expensive and unrealistic inhibitors. My research findings open up new opportunities for more efficient operation of MXCs; this will enhance MXC scale-up and commercial applications, particularly for energy-positive treatment of waste streams containing recalcitrant organics.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016