Batch tests to measure maximum acetate utilization rates were used to determine the distribution of acetate utilizers in expanded-bed sand and expanded-bed granular activated carbon (GAC) reactors. The reactors were fed a mixture of acetate and 3-ethylphenol, and they contained the same predominant aceticlastic methanogen, Methanothrix sp. Batch tests were performed both on the entire reactor contents and with media removed from the reactors. Results indicated that activity was evenly distributed within the GAC reactors, whereas in the sand reactor a sludge blanket on top of the sand bed contained approximately 50% of the activity. The Monod half-velocity constant (K(s)) for the acetate-utilizing methanogens in two expanded-bed GAC reactors was searched for by combining steady-state results with batch test data. All parameters necessary to develop a model with Monod kinetics were experimentally determined except for K(s). However, K(s) was a function of the effluent 3-ethylphenol concentration, and batch test results demonstrated that maximum acetate utilization rates were not a function of the effluent 3-ethylphenol concentration. Addition of a competitive inhibition term into the Monod expression predicted the dependence of K(s) on the effluent 3-ethylphenol concentration. A two-parameter search determined a K(s) of 8.99 mg of acetate per liter and a K(i) of 2.41 mg of 3-ethylphenol per liter. Model predictions were in agreement with experimental observations for all effluent 3-ethylphenol concentrations. Batch tests measured the activity for a specific substrate and determined the distribution of activity in the reactor. The use of steady-state data in conjunction with batch test results reduced the number of unknown kinetic parameters and thereby reduced the uncertainty in the results and the assumptions made.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology