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New Biotechnology
Vol. 33 (1), 2016, Pages: 233–242

Possible practical utility of an enzyme cocktail produced by sludge-degrading microbes for methane and hydrogen production from digested sludge

Hayato Sato, Kyohei Kuribayashi, Katsuhiko Fujii

Graduate School of Agriculture, Yamaguchi University, Yoshida, Yamaguchi 7538515, Japan.

Abstract

Digested sludge (DS) is a major waste product of anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge and is resistant to biodegradation. In this study, we examined suitability of the hydrolases produced by DS-degrading fungal strains (DS-hydrolases) for methane and hydrogen fermentation from DS. Although the strains are mesophilic, DS-hydrolases showed strong chitinase and keratinase activity at ∼50°C. SDS-PAGE analysis suggested that the strains possess a multienzyme system, which allows the hydrolases of some strains to be stable in a wide range of temperatures. Addition of the DS-hydrolases to a vial-scale anaerobic digester enhanced methane and hydrogen production from DS at pH 9.0 and 5.0, respectively. The hydrogen production was also enhanced by the use of methacrylate ester-precipitated DS as a substrate. Further improvement of culture and reaction conditions may make these hydrolases suitable for production of renewable fuels.

 

 
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