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Response of enhanced sludge methanogenesis by red mud to temperature: Spectroscopic and electrochemical elucidation of endogenous redox mediators

Ye, Jie, Hu, Andong, Cheng, Xiaoyuan, Lin, Weifen, Liu, Xing, Zhou, Shungui, He, Zhen
Water research 2018 v.143 pp. 240-249
Archaea, European Union, amines, anaerobic digestion, bacteria, capacitance, carbon dioxide, cytochrome c, electrochemistry, humic acids, lipids, methane, methane production, methanogens, models, sludge, spectroscopy, temperature
Adding conductive materials can promote methanogenesis via facilitating electron exchange between syntrophic bacteria and methanogenic archaea. However, little is known about how temperature would interact with such an addition and thus affect the compositions and characteristics of endogenous redox mediators (ERMs). In particular, it is of strong interest to understand how the temperature variation would affect the improvement on methanogenesis induced by ERMs with conductive materials. Herein, we have investigated the response of sludge methanogenesis to temperature variation (from 15 to 35 °C) and spectroscopically detected the ERMs induced by conductive red mud. It was demonstrated that the increasing temperature enhanced the stimulating effect of conductive red mud on methane accumulation, and the methane production potential showed a linear relationship with redox parameters such as areal capacitance (Ca), free charges (R2) and electron exchange capacity (EEC). 2DCOS spectra further indicated that ν(C-O) and δ(O-H) in humic acids, β-turn type III amide I νs(C=O) in Cytochrome c, and δ(C-H) in amines and lipids became the main redox groups in ERMs at 35 °C with the addition of red mud. The model revealed that the contribution of ERMs to the CO2 reduction to CH4 increased from 35.2 ± 1.4% to 58.6 ± 1.5% when the temperature increased from 15 to 35 °C. Our finding that conductive materials stimulated the formation and electroactivity of ERMs with the increasing temperature during anaerobic digestion can have important implications for the improvement of engineered methanogenic processes.