Reinforcement of methanogenesis in anaerobic digesters through the application of a purple non-sulfur bacteria bio-augmentation scheme

  • M. S. HammamEmail author
  • K. Z. Abdalla
Original Paper


Purple non-sulfur bacteria generally possess a distinguishingly diverse metabolism, rendering them being classified among the most adaptable bacteria. Rhodobacter capsulatus, ATCC® 11166™ strain, was utilized for inoculating two bench-scale anaerobic digestion reactors, within an experimental configuration comprising five bench-scale anaerobic digestion reactors. The investigation assessed the effect of applying a bio-augmentation scheme onto anaerobic digestion processes, with respect to biodegradation, resilience, and energy capture efficiency. The results implied significant evidence of the positive impact of the applied scheme onto the methanogenesis process within the bio-augmented reactors, comparing the outputs attained within the bio-augmented reactors to the non-bio-augmented reactors. An increase within the specific methane production per added and destroyed chemical oxygen demand was observed, associated with a consequent increase in chemical oxygen demand destruction. This indicated an overall enhancement of the anaerobic digestion processes, specifically those typically attributed to the methane-forming Archaea. The bio-augmented reactors were also subjected to a set of perturbation-causing conditions, aiming to assess the performance of the methanogenic culture under such conditions, as compared to non-bio-augmented reactors that are subjected to the same conditions. A relatively higher and more stable methane production rate was observed within the bio-augmented reactors, during the application of the referred-to conditions.


Rhodobacter capsulatus Biogas Organic load assimilation capacity Illumination Paired reactors 



This study is part of a research project, aimed for partial fulfillment of a Doctor of Philosophy Thesis, submitted for the “Department of Public Works” at the “Faculty of Engineering—Cairo University”. The authors would like to thank the technical team at the “Sanitary and Environmental Engineering Laboratory” at the “Cairo University—Faculty of Engineering”, for their support that helped achieve the experimental work throughout the study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public WorksFaculty of Engineering, Cairo UniversityGizaEgypt

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