Environmental health and toxicology

Digestion performance and microbial community in full-scale methane fermentation of stillage from sweet potato-shochu production

Tsutomu Kobayashi , Yueqin Tang , Toyoshi Urakami , Shigeru Morimura , Kenji Kida


Received March 09, 2013,Revised June 20, 2013, Accepted , Available online January 27, 2014

Volume ,2014,Pages 423-431

Sweet potato shochu is a traditional Japanese spirit produced mainly in the South Kyushu area in Japan. The amount of stillage reaches approximately 8 × 105 tons per year. Wastewater mainly containing stillage from the production of sweet potato-shochu was treated thermophilically in a full-scale treatment plant using fixed-bed reactors (8 reactors × 283 m3). Following the addition of Ni2+ and Co2+, the reactors have been stably operated for six years at a high chemical oxygen demand (COD) loading rate of 14 kg/(m3.day). Analysis of coenzyme content and microbial communities indicated that similar microbial communities were present in the liquid phase and on the fiber carriers installed in reactors. Bacteria in the phyla Firmicutes as well as Bacteroidetes were dominant bacteria, and Methanosarcina thermophila as well as Methanothermobacter crinale were dominant methanogens in the reactors. This study reveals that stillage from sweet potato-shochu production can be treated effectively in a full-scale fixed-bed reactor under thermophilic conditions with the help of Ni2+ and Co2+. The high diversity of bacterial community and the coexistence of both aceticlastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogens contributed to the excellent fermentation performance.

Copyright © Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press. All rights reserved.京ICP备05002858号-3