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Isomerization ofn- andi-butyrate in anaerobic methanogenic systems

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Studies of the degradation of the two isomeric forms of butyrate in different anaerobic environments showed isomerization betweenn- andi-butyrate. Degradation rates were similar for the different examined systems and degradation rates forn-butyrate degradation were generally higher than fori-butyrate. Degradation rates forn-butyrate ranged from 0.52 to 1.39 day−1, while the rates fori-butyrate were from 0.46 to 1.15 day−1. Production of isomers was not observed when the volatile fatty acid degradation was inhibited by addition of bromoethane sulfonic acid, indicating that isomerization was coupled to the methanogenic degradation of the acid. The degree of isomerization observed duringn-butyrate degradation was similar to the degree duringi-butyrate degradation. Experiments indicated that the isomerization degree was higher for the thermophilic than for the mesophilic inocula.

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Correspondence to B. K. Ahring.

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Angelidaki, I., Ahring, B.K. Isomerization ofn- andi-butyrate in anaerobic methanogenic systems. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 68, 285–291 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00874138

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Key words

  • Isomerization
  • n-butyrate
  • i-butyrate