Syntrophic Propionate Oxidation via Butyrate: a Novel Window of Opportunity under Methanogenic Conditions

J. Dolfing
  • Applied and Environmental Microbiology, June 2013, ASM Journals
  • DOI: 10.1128/aem.00111-13

On the stability of anaerobic waste treatment systems

What is it about?

Classical propionate degradation – an infamous bottle neck in methanogenic bioreactors - is very sensitive to slight increases in hydrogen partial pressure. A thermodynamic analysis reveals that the so-called Smithella pathway should be less sensitive to hydrogen fluctuations than the classical pathway. This implies that engineering the microbial community towards the Smithella pathway should result in more robust, less failure prone anaerobic waste treatment systems.

Why is it important?

Classical propionate degradation – an infamous bottle neck in methanogenic bioreactors - is very sensitive to slight increases in hydrogen partial pressure. A thermodynamic analysis reveals that the so-called Smithella pathway should be less sensitive to hydrogen fluctuations than the classical pathway. This implies that engineering the microbial community towards the Smithella pathway should result in more robust, less failure prone anaerobic waste treatment systems.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/aem.00111-13

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