The determination of methanogenic activity with a pH-stat titration bioassay is evaluated utilising a mathematical model of this system. For given kinetic parameters and experimental conditions the model calculates the development of titrant flow and acetate concentration during experiments. Simulations of experiments under various conditions are compared. They show that the original method inherently causes a strong drift of acetate concentration during the experiments and a misestimation of methanogenic activity. As a solution to these disadvantages the addition of sodium hydroxide to the titrant and a careful control of pH during flushing the reactor with gas prior to the experiment are recommended. In this way a better constancy of acetate concentration and a more accurate determination of methanogenic activity should be achievable. The accuracy of this method is limited by the stability of pH-electrode calibration parameters.
Factors affecting constancy of acetate concentration and correct determination of methanogenic activity in pH-stat experiments
M. Mösche, U. Meyer; Factors affecting constancy of acetate concentration and correct determination of methanogenic activity in pH-stat experiments. Water Sci Technol 1 September 2003; 48 (6): 111–118. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2003.0371
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