Anaerobic Fermentations of Cellulose to Methane

  • H. D. PeckJr.
  • M. Odom
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series


The microbial populations responsible for the anaerobic degradation of cellulosic biopolymers appear to be taxonomically diverse and variable, but the basic pattern of these complex fermentations is similar wherever they occur. This in turn suggests that the common denominator of these microbial populations is overall physiology rather than taxonomy. For example, if one compares the microorganisms found in mesophilic and thermophilic fermentations of cellulose to CO2 and CH4, individual isolates from these fermentations will, by and large, be taxonomically distinct, but physiologic counterparts in terms of the overall reactions catalyzed can be readily identified in each fermentation. This is perhaps implicit in the general concept of a “food chain”; however, within this single constraint, it allows for extensive diversity in terms of pH, temperature, products, product composition, substrates, inhibitors, product and substrate tolerance and nutrition. This diversity is currently the object of a considerable research effort which should define the environmental parameters for the degradation of complex cellulosic biopolymers and lead to the isolation of new types of bacteria.


Anaerobic Digestor Sulfate Reduce Bacterium Fermentation Product Formate Dehydrogenase Anaerobic Fermentation 
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.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. D. PeckJr.
    • 1
  • M. Odom
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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