Aquatic plants in a laboratory
Project #4871

Nationwide Meta-Omics Survey of Anaerobic Digestion and Fermentation Processes for Resource Recovery from Biosolids and Other Organics

Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Ms. Stephanie Fevig, PE
Columbia University
Resource Recovery


With a shift toward more complex anaerobic carbon conversion processes, a better mechanistic understanding of the microbial communities (both structure and function), carbon conversion pathways, and the kinetics therein is needed. This knowledge might also necessitate the enhancement of current process models to include additional microbial pathways and biomass types.

This project applied meta-omics techniques, in conjunction with traditional process monitoring approaches, to characterize full-scale anaerobic digesters and pilot-scale anaerobic fermentation processes. The research explores the link between microbial structure-function and process performance with principal focus on full-scale systems and the use of a uniform methodology. This study provides a supporting framework on the relationship between operating parameters and microbial methanogenic pathways, and can redirect parameters that could be beneficial in better management of carbon resources generated from water resource recovery facilities. Research partner: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Published in 2020.

 Originally funded as WERF project U1R15.