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The effect of sulfate and nitrate on methane formation in a freshwater sediment

Abstract

A freshwater sediment from a ditch of a peat grassland near Zegveld (Province of Utrecht, The Netherlands) was investigated for its potential methanogenic and syntrophic activity and the influence of sulfate and nitrate on these potential activities. Methanogenesis started after a 10 days lagphase. After 35–40 days aceticlastic methanogens were sufficiently enriched to cause a net decrease of acetate. In the presence of sulfate methane formation was only slightly affected. The addition of nitrate led to an outcompetion of aceticlastic methanogens by nitrate reducers. When inorganic electron acceptors were absent, substrates like propionate and butyrate were converted by syntrophic methanogenic consortia. Addition of inorganic electron acceptors resulted in an outcompetition of the syntrophic propionate and butyrate degrading consortia by the sulfate and nitrate reducers.

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Scholten, J.C.M., Stams, A.J.M. The effect of sulfate and nitrate on methane formation in a freshwater sediment. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 68, 309–315 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00874141

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Key words

  • Acetate
  • methanogenesis
  • freshwater sediments
  • nitrate reduction
  • sulfate reduction
  • volatile fatty acids