Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 149–154 | Cite as

The effect of iron on anaerobic digestion

  • C A Jackson-Moss
  • J R Duncan


The ability of methanogenic bacteria to adapt to high concentrations of iron was investigated using a 9l Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) reactor fed semi-continuously with a synthetic waste containing glucose as the organic carbon source. It was found that an iron concentration of up to 5 650 mg/l, which is well in excess of previously reported toxicity levels, had no inhibitory effects on anaerobic digestion, with the exception of a decrease in biogas production. The iron precipitated out and accumulated in the sludge bed of the digester, resulting in very low concentrations of iron in the digester effluent.


Glucose Iron Toxicity Sludge Organic Chemistry 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • C A Jackson-Moss
    • 1
    • 2
  • J R Duncan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Leather Industries Research InstituteGrahamstownSouth Africa

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