The competition of acetotrophic methanogenic bacteria (AMB) and acetotrophic sulfidogenic bacteria (ASRB) was studied by assessing growth rates, activities and acetate and sulfate affinities at different pH levels and sulfide concentrations in batch reactors. Both anaerobic granular sludge and suspended anaerobic sludge were tested. The results indicate that at pH-levels below 6.9 AMB will outcompete ASRB, whereas above a pH of 7.7, ASRB will win the competition. If ASRB and AMB are present in granular sludge growth will be found in a wider pH-range than if they are present as suspended sludge. The affinities for acetate and the sulfide toxicity are dependent on the sludge form as well. In granular sludge the acetate affinities of ASRB and AMB are comparable, whereas in suspended sludge ASRB show a lower affinity than AMB. With respect to sulfide toxicity, the results indicate that above pH 7 sulfide inhibition in granular sludge is caused by the total sulfide concentration, while in suspended sludge the free H2S-concentration determines the toxicity. At high pH-levels growth is stronger inhibited than the activity.

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