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Effect of the clay mineral bentonite on ammonia inhibition of anaerobic thermophilic reactors degrading animal waste

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Addition of bentonite or the waste product bentonite-bound oil counteracted to some extent the inhibitory effect of ammonia during thermophilic anaerobic digestion of cattle manure. In continuously-fed reactor experiments, addition of bentonite or bentonite-bound oil delayed the onset of the inhibition and aided process recovery after initial inhibition. The effect was observed only when the ammonia concentration was increased gradually, indicating that the major effect of bentonite and BBO was not through a direct antagonistic effect towards ammonia but through an increased process resistance to toxic compounds. In batch experiments bentonite had a similar stimulatory effect leading to a decreased lag phase and increased methane production rate in ammonia inhibited reactors.

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Angelidaki, I., Ahring, B.K. Effect of the clay mineral bentonite on ammonia inhibition of anaerobic thermophilic reactors degrading animal waste. Biodegradation 3, 409–414 (1992).

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Key words

  • anaerobic
  • thermophilic
  • ammonia toxicity
  • bentonite
  • bentonite-bound oil
  • animal waste