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Over the last decade there has been a rapid development in culture-independent techniques for exploring microbial communities, which have led to new insights into their structure and function in both natural environments and engineered systems. This review focuses on some of the most important recent advances and their applications to the diverse microbial(More)
A replicate long-term experiment was conducted using anaerobic digestion (AD) as a model process to determine the relative role of niche and neutral theory on microbial community assembly, and to link community dynamics to system performance. AD is performed by a complex network of microorganisms and process stability relies entirely on the synergistic(More)
The biodegradability and bioavailability of hydrolysis-limited substrates under anaerobic (and aerobic) conditions can be represented by two key parameters--degradability (f(d)), or the percentage that can be effectively be destroyed during digestion, and first order hydrolysis coefficient (k(hyd)), or the speed at which material breaks down. Biochemical(More)
Pre-treatment is used extensively to improve degradability and hydrolysis rate of material being fed into digesters. One emerging process is temperature phased anaerobic digestion (TPAD), which applies a short (2 day) 50-70 degrees C pre-treatment step prior to 35 degrees C digestion in the main stage (10-20 days). In this study, we evaluated a(More)
This study investigated the process of high-rate, high-temperature methanogenesis to enable very-high-volume loading during anaerobic digestion of waste-activated sludge. Reducing the hydraulic retention time (HRT) from 15 to 20 days in mesophilic digestion down to 3 days was achievable at a thermophilic temperature (55°C) with stable digester performance(More)
This paper presents results from laboratory studies to measure the methane yield and rate of digestion of reject bananas. These parameters were determined in experiments that took into account the likely configuration of a full-scale plant in the banana growing region of north Queensland. The digestion was conducted in a 200-l reactor using fed-batch(More)
Anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) is currently enjoying renewed interest due to the potential for methane production. However, methane production is often limited by the slow hydrolysis rate and/or poor methane potential of WAS. This study presents a novel pretreatment strategy based on free nitrous acid (FNA or HNO2) to enhance methane(More)
Anaerobic digestion is a widely used technology for waste stabilization and generation of biogas, and has recently emerged as a potentially important process for the production of high value volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and alcohols. Here, three reactors were seeded with inoculum from a stably performing methanogenic digester, and selective operating(More)
Bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) are emerging as a technology with diverse future applications. Anode-associated microbial diversity and activity are known to change over time, but the consequences of these dynamics on BES functioning are poorly understood. A novel BES with exchangeable anodic electrodes that facilitates characterisation of microbial(More)
Crystalline cellulose was anaerobically degraded using a leachate inoculum derived from simulated municipal solid waste. Bicinchoninic Acid (BCA) protein assays were used to measure the distribution of biomass during cellulose degradation, including the planktonic and sessile biomass fractions. A comparison of sessile and planktonic microbial growth(More)