Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 570–576 | Cite as

The effect of low temperature (5–29 °C) and adaptation on the methanogenic activity of biomass

  • R. H. Kettunen
  • J. A. Rintala


The influence of low temperature (5–29 °C) on the methanogenic activity of non-adapted digested sewage sludge and on temperature/leachate-adapted biomass was assayed by using municipal landfill leachate, intermediates of anaerobic degradation (propionate) and methane precursors (acetate, H2/CO2) as substrates. The temperature dependence of methanogenic activity could be described by Arrhenius-derived models. However, both substrate and adaptation affected the temperature dependence. The adaptation of biomass in a leachate-fed upflow anaerobic sludge-blanket reactor at approximately 20 °C for 4 months resulted in a sevenfold and fivefold increase of methanogenic activity at 11 °C and 22 °C respectively. Both acetate and H2/CO2 were methanized even at 5 °C. At 22 °C, methanogenic activities (acetate 4.8–84 mM) were 1.6–5.2 times higher than those at 11 °C. The half-velocity constant (Ks) of acetate utilization at 11 °C was one-third of that at 22 °C while a similar Ki was obtained at both temperatures. With propionate (1.1–5.5 mM) as substrate, meth‐anogenic activities at 11 °C were half those at 22 °C. Furthermore, the residual concentration of the substrates was not dependent on temperature. The results suggest that the adaptation of biomass enables the achievement of a high treatment capacity in the anaerobic process even under psychrophilic conditions.


Biomass Sludge Sewage Sewage Sludge Landfill Leachate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. H. Kettunen
    • 1
  • J. A. Rintala
    • 2
  1. 1.Tampere University of Technology, Water and Environmental Engineering, P.O. Box 541, FIN-33101 Tampere, Finland e-mail: riitta.kettunen@cc.tut.fiFI
  2. 2.Jyväskylä University, Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, P.O. Box 35, FIN-40351 Jyväskylä, FinlandFI

Personalised recommendations