Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 94, Issue 4, pp 593–605 | Cite as

Methanosarcina as the dominant aceticlastic methanogens during mesophilic anaerobic digestion of putrescible waste

  • Vasily A. Vavilin
  • Xian Qu
  • Laurent Mazéas
  • Melanie Lemunier
  • Christian Duquennoi
  • Pinjing He
  • Theodore Bouchez
Original Paper


Taking into account isotope 13C value a mathematical model was developed to describe the dynamics of methanogenic population during mesophilic anaerobic digestion of putrescible solid waste and waste imitating Chinese municipal solid waste. Three groups of methanogens were considered in the model including unified hydrogenotrophic methanogens and two aceticlastic methanogens Methanosaeta sp. and Methanosarcina sp. It was assumed that Methanosaeta sp. and Methanosarcina sp. are inhibited by high volatile fatty acids concentration. The total organic and inorganic carbon concentrations, methane production, methane and carbon dioxide partial pressures as well as the isotope 13C incorporation in PSW and CMSW were used for the model calibration and validation. The model showed that in spite of the high initial biomass concentration of Methanosaeta sp. Methanosarcina sp. became the dominant aceticlastic methanogens in the system. This prediction was confirmed by FISH. It is concluded that Methanosarcina sp. forming multicellular aggregates may resist to inhibition by volatile fatty acids (VFAs) because a slow diffusion rate of the acids limits the VFA concentrations inside the Methanosarcina sp. aggregates.


Anaerobic digestion FISH Isotope 13Mathematical model Methanosarcina sp. Multicellular aggregate 



Fluorescent in situ hybridization


Putrescible solid waste


Chinese municipal solid waste



The generous support of Vasily Vavilin and Xian Qu by the CEMAGREF and the Suez-Environment is greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vasily A. Vavilin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xian Qu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Laurent Mazéas
    • 1
  • Melanie Lemunier
    • 4
  • Christian Duquennoi
    • 1
  • Pinjing He
    • 3
  • Theodore Bouchez
    • 1
  1. 1.Cemagref, UR-HBANAntony CedexFrance
  2. 2.Water Problems InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussian Federation
  3. 3.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringTongji-UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Suez-Env, CIRADEGargenvilleFrance

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