Pilarska A.A., Wolna-Maruwka A., Niewiadomska A., Pilarski K., Adamski M., Grzyb A., Grządziel J., Gałązka A. (2021): Silica/Lignin Carrier as a Factor Increasing the Process Performance and Genetic Diversity of Microbial Communities in Laboratory-Scale Anaerobic Digesters. Energies, 14, 4429, https://doi.org/10.3390/en14154429 (140 pkt. MEiN; IF = 3,004)
The article aims to present results of research on anaerobic digestion (AD) of waste wafers (WF-control) and co-substrate system–waste wafers and cheese (WFC-control), combined with digested sewage sludge, as inoculum. The purpose of this paper is to confirm the outcome of adding silica/lignin (S/L; 4:1) material, as a microbial carrier, on the process performance and genetic diversity of microbial communities. The experiment was conducted in a laboratory under mesophilic conditions, in a periodical operation mode of bioreactors. Selected physicochemical parameters of the tested carrier, along with the microstructure and thermal stability, were determined. Substrates, batches and fermenting slurries were subjected to standard parameter analysis. As part of the conducted analysis, samples of fermented food were also tested for total bacterial count, dehydrogenase activity. Additionally, DNA extraction and next-generation sequencing (NGS) were carried out. As a result of the conducted study, an increase in the volume of produced biogas was recorded for samples fermented with S/L carrier: in the case of WF + S/L by 18.18% to a cumulative biogas yield of 833.35 m3 Mg−1 VS, and in the case of WFC + S/L by 17.49% to a yield of 950.64 m3 Mg−1 VS. The largest total bacterial count, during the process of dehydrogenase activity, was maintained in the WFC + S/L system. The largest bacterial biodiversity was recorded in samples fermented with the addition of cheese, both in the case of the control variant and in the variant when the carrier was used. In contrast, three phyla of bacteria Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria predominated in all experimental facilities.