Glucose and pH microprofiles in UASB aggregates were interpreted with respect to the population distribution of fermentative and methanogenic bacteria. In order to map the activity distribution of these bacteria, microprofiles were measured with different substrates (glucose, propionate and acetate) and at varying buffer capacities of the medium. The measurements were compared to calculated microprofiles, in which the spatial location of the activities was varied. The results suggested an inhomogenic activity distribution in the aggregates investigated: fermentatives were located dominantly at the outer 200-300 μm whereas methanogens were homogeneously distributed over the aggregate.

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