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 aims to apply meta-omics techniques in conjunction with traditional process monitoring approaches to characterize full-scale anaerobic digesters and pilot-scale anaerobic fermentation processes. The research will explore 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 can provide 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 wastewater treatment plants.
Originally funded as WERF project U1R15.