Propionate methanogenesis

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Complex organic compounds such as ethanol, propionate, butyrate, and lactate cannot be directly used as substrates for methanogenesis by methanogens. On the other hand, fermentation of these organic compounds cannot occur in fermenting microorganisms unless the hydrogen concentration is reduced to a low level by the methanogens. [15] In this case, hydrogen, an electron-carrying compound (mediator) is transported from the fermenting bacteria to the methanogen through a process called mediated interspecies electron transfer (MIET), where the mediator is carried down a concentration gradient created by a thermodynamically favourable coupled redox reaction . [16]

Acetate, propionate and butyrate (volatile fatty acids , VFA) occur in oil field waters and are frequently used for microbial growth of oil field consortia. We determined the kinetics of use of these VFA components (3 mM of each) by an anaerobic oil field consortium in microcosms containing 2 mM sulfate and either 0, 4, 6, 8 or 13 mM of nitrate. Nitrate was reduced first with preference for acetate and propionate. Sulfate reduction then proceeded with propionate (not butyrate) as the electron donor, whereas the fermentation of butyrate (not propionate) was associated with methanogenesis. Microbial community analyses indicated Paracoccus-Thauera, Desulfobulbus and Syntrophomonas-Methanobacterium as the dominant taxa catalyzing these three processes. Most probable number assays showed the presence of up to 10(7)/ml of propionate-oxidizing SRB in waters from the Medicine Hat Glauconitic C field. Bioreactors with the same concentrations of sulfate and VFA responded similarly to increasing concentrations of injected nitrate as observed in the microcosms: sulfide formation was prevented by adding approximately 80% of the nitrate dose needed to completely oxidize VFA to CO2 in both. Thus this work has demonstrated that simple time-dependent observations of the use of acetate, propionate and butyrate for nitrate reduction, sulfate reduction and methanogenesis in microcosms are a good proxy for these processes in bioreactors of which monitoring is more complex.

Propionate methanogenesis

propionate methanogenesis

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