This study evaluated the methanogens responsible for methanogenic degradation of tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) in a continuous flow bioreactor. The enriched methanogens attained an estimated maximum specific TMAH degradation rate and half-saturation constant of 39.5 mg TMAH/gVSS/h and 820 mg/L, following the Monod-type kinetic expression for methanogenic TMAH degradation. Presence of sulfide more than 20 mg/L significantly extended lag period and slowed down specific TMAH degradation rates. The results of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), cloning/sequencing, and quantitative real-time PCR analyses targeting on the methyl coenzyme M reductase alpha subunit (mcrA) genes retrieved from the bioreactor and batch experiments indicated that Methanomethylovorans species were the dominant methanogens responsible for methanogenic degradation of TMAH. The isolated TMAH-degrading methanogen from the bioreactor, however, was identified closely related to Methanosarcina mazei. It is likely that a very low TMAH environment in the bioreactor favored the growth of Methanomethylovorans hollandica, while the much higher TMAH in the isolation growth medium proliferated Methanosarcina mazei.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis