The microbial diversity of biogas was analyzed in order to examine the aerosolization behavior of microorganisms. Six biogas samples were analyzed: five from mesophilic and thermophilic anaerobic digestors treating different wastes, and one from landfill. Epifluorescent microscopic counts revealed 106 prokarya m−3. To assess the difference occuring in aerosolization, 498 biogas-borne 16S ribosomal DNA were analyzed and compared to published anaerobic digestor microbial diversity. Results show a large microbial diversity and strong discrepancy with digestor microbial diversity. Three different aerosolisation behaviour patterns can be identified: (i) that of non-aerosolized microorganisms, Deltaproteobacteria, Spirochaetes, Thermotogae, Chloroflexi phyla and sulfate-reducing groups, (ii) that of passively aerosolized microorganisms, including Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes phyla and (iii) that of preferentially aerosolized microorganisms, including Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, as well as strictly aerobic and occasionally pathogenic species, presented high levels of aerosolization.

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