Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 538417
Title Effect of n-Caproate Concentration on Chain Elongation and Competing Processes
Author(s) Roghair, Mark; Liu, Yuchen; Adiatma, Julius C.; Weusthuis, Ruud A.; Bruins, Marieke E.; Buisman, Cees J.N.; Strik, David P.B.T.B.
Source ACS sustainable chemistry & engineering 6 (2018)6. - ISSN 2168-0485 - p. 7499 - 7506.
Department(s) Sub-department of Environmental Technology
Bioprocess Engineering
FBR Bioconversion
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Adapted sludge - Chain elongation - Competing processes - Inhibition - n-Caproate

Chain elongation is an open-culture fermentation process that facilitates conversion of organic residues with an additional electron donor, such as ethanol, into valuable n-caproate. Open-culture processes are catalyzed by an undefined consortium of microorganisms which typically also bring undesired (competing) processes. Inhibition of competing processes, such as syntrophic ethanol oxidation, will lead to a more selective n-caproate production process. In this study, we investigated the effect of n-caproate concentration on the specific activity of chain elongation and competing processes using batch inhibition assays. With "synthetic medium sludge" (originally operating at 3.4 g/L n-caproate), syntrophic ethanol oxidation was proportionally inhibited by n-caproate until 45% inhibition at 20 g/L n-caproate. Hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis was for 58% inhibited at 20 g/L n-caproate. Chain elongation of volatile fatty acids (volatile fatty acid upgrading; the desired process), was completely inhibited at 20 g/L n-caproate with all tested sludge types. "Adapted sludge" (operating at 23.2 g/L n-caproate) showed a 10 times higher volatile fatty acid upgrading activity at 15 g/L n-caproate compared to "nonadapted sludge" (operating at 7.1 g/L n-caproate). This shows that open cultures do adapt to perform chain elongation at high n-caproate concentrations which likely inhibits syntrophic ethanol oxidation through hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. As such, we provide supporting evidence that the formation of n-caproate inhibits syntrophic ethanol oxidation which leads to a more selective medium chain fatty acid production process.

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