Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 147–154 | Cite as

Effect of substrate feeding frequencies on the methane production and microbial communities of laboratory-scale anaerobic digestion reactors

  • Zheng Hua Piao
  • Jongkeun Lee
  • Jae Young Kim


Even though full-scale digesters have been designed based on laboratory-scale tests, the substrate feeding modes of laboratory-scale tests might be different from those of full-scale digesters. The effect of substrate feeding frequencies on the performance and microbial community of laboratory-scale anaerobic digestion reactors was investigated. Feeding frequencies of twice a day, once a day, and every two days were tested in three 2-L reactors with an organic loading rate of 0.5 g-glucose/L/day under mesophilic condition. According to the results of this study, all the reactors showed similar methane production rates and SCOD removal efficiencies after sufficient time of acclimation, but frequently feeding promoted more stable digestion. Although there was no significant difference in microbial diversities from pyrosequencing analyses, the changes of archaeal community composition were observed. The decrease in feeding frequency appeared to cause shifts from acetoclastic methanogens affiliated with Methanosaeta to H2-utilizing methanogens. The increase of Methanosaeta at a frequently feeding might contribute to the stability of reactor operation. Since this study uses glucose as the substrate, there is still possibility of different results for more complex substrates, such as sludge, food waste, etc.


Anaerobic digestion Substrate feeding frequency Stability Methane production Microbial community 



This study was supported by the Korea Ministry of Environment as “Knowledge-based environmental service (Waste to energy) Human Resource Development Project”, the Korea Ministry of Education through the Brain Korea 21 Plus research program, and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant (No. 2015R1A5A7037372) funded by the Korean Government (MSIP). Authors also appreciate the technical support of the Institute of Construction and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Research Institute, Seoul National University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of EngineeringSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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