Raw wastewater hydrolysis rates during start-up in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and anaerobic digestion (AD) systems, seeded with a mesophilic inoculum from a digester, were compared at moderate temperatures (27.5 ℃ and 8 ℃). Temperature drop affected both the lipids and carbohydrates hydrolysis rates but not necessarily the protein removal rates (temperature-independent rates of MFC), which were significantly influenced from treatment alteration (AD to MFC). MFC showed robust proteolysis at low temperature compared to AD; the latter seems to have a higher potential at warmer conditions. A lipases activity assay showed that although at 27.5 ℃ both AD and MFC are likely to hydrolyse lipids, the latter has a higher lipolysis potential at low temperatures. Preliminary community structure analysis showed that the switch from AD to MFC alters the bacterial community by 15% with the MFC showing higher diversification; temperature decrease, though, alters the community by 40%. Key organisms that appear to be favoured at the MFC set-ups are Geobacteriaceae, taxa likely related to the hydrolytic capacity of this set-up.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.
Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.
Ahn Y, Logan BE (2010) Effectiveness of domestic wastewater treatment using microbial fuel cells at ambient and mesophilic temperatures. Biores Technol 101(2):469–475
APHA (1995) WPCF, standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. American Public Health Association/American Water Works Association/Water Environment Federation, Washington DC
Benson DA, Karsch-Mizrachi I, Lipman DJ, Ostell J, Wheeler DL (2008) GenBank. Nucleic Acids Res 36(Database issue):D25–30
Bligh EG, Dyer WJ (1959) A rapid method of total lipid extraction and purification. Can J Biochem Physiol 37(8):911–917
Bohn I, Björnsson L, Mattiasson B (2007) Effect of temperature decrease on the microbial population and process performance of a mesophilic anaerobic bioreactor. Environ Technol 28(8):943–952
Bradford MM (1976) A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Anal Biochem 72(1–2):248–254
Burgess JE, Pletschke BI (2008) Hydrolytic enzymes in sewage sludge treatment: a mini-review. Water SA 34(3):343–350
Cammarota M, Freire D (2006) A review on hydrolytic enzymes in the treatment of wastewater with high oil and grease content. Biores Technol 97(17):2195–2210
Cotterill S, Dolfing J, Jones C, Curtis T, Heidrich E (2017) Low temperature domestic wastewater treatment in a microbial electrolysis cell with 1 m2 anodes: towards system scale-up. Fuel Cells 17(5):584–592
Curtis TP, Sloan WT (2004) Prokaryotic diversity and its limits: microbial community structure in nature and implications for microbial ecology. Curr Opin Microbiol 7(3):221–226
Dolfing J, Janssen DB (1994) Estimates of Gibbs free energies of formation of chlorinated aliphatic compounds. Biodegradation 5(1):21–28
Gessesse A, Dueholm T, Petersen SB, Nielsen PH (2003) Lipase and protease extraction from activated sludge. Water Res 37(15):3652–3657
Hedje JE, Hofreiter BT (1962) In: Whistler RL, Be Miller JN (eds) Carbohydrates chemistry, 17th edn. Academic Press, New York.
Heidrich, E.S. (2012) Evaluation of microbial electrolysis cells in the treatment of domestic wastewater, Ph.D. Thesis, E-Theses Newcastle University, UK
Heidrich ES, Edwards SR, Dolfing J, Cotterill SE, Curtis TP (2014) Performance of a pilot scale microbial electrolysis cell fed on domestic wastewater at ambient temperatures for a 12 month period. Biores Technol 173:87–95
Heidrich E, Dolfing J, Wade M, Sloan W, Quince C, Curtis T (2018) Temperature, inocula and substrate: Contrasting electroactive consortia, diversity and performance in microbial fuel cells. Bioelectrochemistry 119:43–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bioelechem.2017.07.006
Hu Y, Fu C, Huang Y, Yin Y, Cheng G, Lei F, Lu N, Li J, Ashforth EJ, Zhang L, Zhu B (2010) Novel lipolytic genes from the microbial metagenomic library of the South China Sea marine sediment. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 72(2):228–237
Kettunen R, Rintala J (1997) The effect of low temperature (5–29 C) and adaptation on the methanogenic activity of biomass. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 48(4):570–576
Larrosa-Guerrero A, Scott K, Head I, Mateo F, Ginesta A, Godinez C (2010) Effect of temperature on the performance of microbial fuel cells. Fuel 89(12):3985–3994
Lawrence AW, McCarty PL (1969) Kinetics of methane fermentation in anaerobic treatment. Journal (Water Pollution Control Federation) 41(2):R1–17
Leal M, Cammarota M, Freire D, Anna S Jr (2002) Hydrolytic enzymes as coadjuvants in the anaerobic treatment of dairy wastewaters. Braz J Chem Eng 19(2):175–180
Lesnik KL, Liu H (2014) Establishing a core microbiome in acetate-fed microbial fuel cells. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 98(9):4187–4196
Logan BE (2008) Microbial fuel cells. John Wiley & Sons, London
Malina J, Pohland FG (1992) Design of anaerobic processes for treatment of industrial and municipal waste, vol VII. Routledge, London
Manning D, Bewsher A (1997) Determination of anions in landfill leachates by ion chromatography. J Chromatogr A 770(1–2):203–210
Miron Y, Zeeman G, Van Lier JB, Lettinga G (2000) The role of sludge retention time in the hydrolysis and acidification of lipids, carbohydrates and proteins during digestion of primary sludge in CSTR systems. Water Res 34(5):1705–1713
Mobarak-Qamsari E, Kasra-Kermanshahi R, Nosrati M, Amani T (2012) Enzymatic pre-hydrolysis of high fat content dairy wastewater as a pretreatment for anaerobic digestion. Int J Environmental Res 6(2):475–480
Muyzer G, De Waal EC, Uitterlinden AG (1993) Profiling of complex microbial populations by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis of polymerase chain reaction-amplified genes coding for 16S rRNA. Appl Environ Microbiol 59(3):695–700
Pavlostathis SG, Giraldo-Gomez E (1991) Kinetics of anaerobic treatment. Water Sci Technol 24(8):35–59
Petropoulos E, Dolfing J, Davenport RJ, Bowen EJ, Curtis TP (2017) Developing cold-adapted biomass for the anaerobic treatment of domestic wastewater at low temperatures (4, 8 and 15 C) with inocula from cold environments. Water Res 112:100–109
Petropoulos E, Dolfing J, Yu Y, Wade MJ, Bowen E, Davenport RJ, Curtis T (2018) (2018) Lipolysis of domestic wastewater in anaerobic reactors operating at low temperatures. Environ Sci Water Res Technol 4:1002–1013
Petropoulos E, Yu Y, Tabraiz S, Yakubu A, Curtis T, Dolfing J (2019) High rate domestic wastewater treatment at 15 ℃ using anaerobic reactors inoculated with cold-adapted sediments/soils – shaping robust methanogenic communities. Environ Sci Water Res Technol. https://doi.org/10.1039/C8EW00410B
Petruy R, Lettinga G (1997) Digestion of a milk-fat emulsion. Biores Technol 61(2):141–149
Pham T, Rabaey K, Aelterman P, Clauwaert P, De Schamphelaire L, Boon N, Verstraete W (2006) Microbial fuel cells in relation to conventional anaerobic digestion technology. Eng Life Sci 6(3):285–292
Rifkin J (2002) The hydrogen economy: the creation of the worldwide energy web and the redistribution of power on earth. Tarcher/Putnam, New York
Rinzema A, Alphenaar A, Lettinga G (1993) Anaerobic digestion of long-chain fatty acids in UASB and expanded granular sludge bed reactors. Process Biochem 28(8):527–537
Sanders S, Bergen D, Buijs S, Corstanje R, Gerrits M, Hoogerwerf T, Kanwar S, Zeeman G, Groenestijn J, Lettinga G (1996) Treatment of waste activated sludge in an anaerobic hydrolysis upflow sludge bed reactor. In: Proceedings of 10th EWPCA-symposium on sewage and refuse, liquid wastes section, München. GFA, Hennef, pp 277–305
Sanz I, Fdz-Polanco F (1990) Low temperature treatment of municipal sewage in anaerobic fluidized bed reactors. Water Res 24(4):463–469
Smith AL, Skerlos SJ, Raskin L (2013) Psychrophilic anaerobic membrane bioreactor treatment of domestic wastewater. Water Res 47(4):1655–1665
Van Haandel AC, Lettinga G (1994) Anaerobic sewage treatment: a practical guide for regions with a hot climate. John Wiley & Sons, London
Velasquez-Orta SB, Yu E, Katuri KP, Head IM, Curtis TP, Scott K (2011) Evaluation of hydrolysis and fermentation rates in microbial fuel cells. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 90(2):789–798
Vidal G, Carvalho A, Mendez R, Lema J (2000) Influence of the content in fats and proteins on the anaerobic biodegradability of dairy wastewaters. Biores Technol 74(3):231–239
This work funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK (Grant reference EP/G032033/1). The authors would also like to thank Mr. Kangxu Wang for his assistance with the chemical–molecular tests and Dr. Jan Dolfing for reviewing the manuscript.
Conflict of interest
We declare that there is no conflict of interest.
Editorial responsibility: M. Abbaspour.
Electronic supplementary material
Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.
About this article
Cite this article
Petropoulos, E., Shamurad, B., Acharya, K. et al. Domestic wastewater hydrolysis and lipolysis during start-up in anaerobic digesters and microbial fuel cells at moderate temperatures. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 17, 27–38 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13762-019-02426-z
- Low-temperature wastewater treatment
- Microbial fuel cells