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Inhibition of the methanogenic fermentation of p-toluic acid (4-methylbenzoic acid) by acetate

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Abstract

The potential inhibitory effect of acetate on p-toluic acid methanogenic fermentation was studied during the continuous operation at 5.3 days hydraulic retention time of an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor fed with a synthetic waste-water containing 3.67 mm p-toluic acid as sole carbon and energy source. In the absence of acetate, a chemical oxygen demand removal efficiency of 56.8% and an estimated p-toluic acid removal efficiency of 62.8% were achieved. Immediately after the addition of 58.3 mm acetate into the reactor influent, p-toluic acid degradation stopped while most of the acetate was consumed. The inhibition is explained by thermodynamic considerations. It is emphasized that such phenomena could occur during the treatment of waste-waters containing high concentrations of acetate and aromatic compounds that require a syntrophic association to be degraded to acetate and H2.

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Correspondence to: J. P. Guyot

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Macarie, H., Guyot, JP. Inhibition of the methanogenic fermentation of p-toluic acid (4-methylbenzoic acid) by acetate. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 38, 398–402 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00170093

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00170093

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