Trace Elements in Anaerobic Biotechnologies
The use of trace elements to promote biogas production features prominently on the agenda for many biogas-producing companies. However, the application of the technique is often characterized by trial-and-error methodology due to the ambiguous and scarce basic knowledge on the impact of trace elements in anaerobic biotechnologies under different process conditions. This book describes and defines the broad landscape in the research area of trace elements in anaerobic biotechnologies, from the level of advanced chemistry and single microbial cells, through to engineering and bioreactor technology and to the fate of trace elements in the environment.
The book results from the EU COST Action on ‘The ecological roles of trace metals in anaerobic biotechnologies’. Trace elements in anaerobic biotechnologies is a critical, exceptionally complex and technical challenge. The challenging chemistry underpinning the availability of trace elements for biological uptake is very poorly understood, despite the importance of trace elements for successful anaerobic operations across the bioeconomy. This book discusses and places a common understanding of this challenge, with a strong focus on technological tools and solutions. The group of contributors brings together chemists with engineers, biologists, environmental scientists and mathematical modellers, as well as industry representatives, to show an up-to-date vision of the fate of trace elements on anaerobic biotechnologies.
ISBN: 9781789060218 (Paperback)
ISBN: 9781789060225 (eBook)
Chapter 2: Biogeochemistry of trace elements in anaerobic digesters
Lucian C. Staicu, Stephane Simon, Gilles Guibaud, Sepehr Shakeri Yekta, Baris Calli, Jan Bartacek, Fernando G. Fermoso, Eric D. van Hullebusch, 2019. "Biogeochemistry of trace elements in anaerobic digesters", Trace Elements in Anaerobic Biotechnologies, Fernando G. Fermoso, Eric van Hullebusch, Gavin Collins, Jimmy Roussel, Ana Paula Mucha, Giovanni Esposito
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Essential trace elements (TE) are a prerequisite that ensures optimal performance of the anaerobic digestion (AD) process. However, finding the proper way to deliver these micronutrients to microbial communities is not an easy task. The chemical speciation of TE and the complex environment characterizing AD play a critical role in their mobility, bioavailability, and toxicity. These aspects are particularly critical when establishing the total versus bioavailable concentration of TE, by properly balancing the two sides of the same coin, namely essentiality and toxicity. Both non-redox sensitive (e.g. Co, Cu, Ni, Zn) and redox-sensitive (e.g. Fe, Mn, Mo, Se, W) elements engage in a complex interplay with the mineral and organic phases present in AD. In addition, TE can also interact with each other, thus further complicating our current understanding. All these ‘parasitic’ reactions may render a large fraction of supplemented TE non-bioavailable for the efficient degradation of organic matter by microbial consortia, therefore limiting the biomethane yield. Current analytical limitations related to sampling and assessing the speciation, bioavailability, and matrix (liquid/solid) analysis add to the difficulty of understanding the bigger picture. This chapter reviews and discusses at length all these aspects, providing an up-to-date presentation of the biogeochemistry of TE in AD.