Concentrations of hydrogen (1-1000 vpm) in the biogas from a laboratory-scale anaerobic digester, fed with (70 g/l) reconstituted skimmed milk as substrate, were intensively monitored to determine whether hydrogen could provide a useful new alarm/loading indicator for the anaerobic digestion process. With fast-fermenting substrates such as milk-sugars it proved to be a very sensitive event-marker, producing small ripples in time with operation of the digester feed pump as well as larger pulses caused by chloroform toxicity. Scavenging of hydrogen by lithotropic methanogens appeared to promote the fermentation of sugars directly to acetate, bypassing both the formation and subsequent breakdown of higher acids, a feature that is likely to prove peculiar to methanogenic and sulphate-reducing fermentations.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.