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Biomass, Biofuels, BiochemicalsMicrobial Fermentation of Biowastes
2022, Pages 367-394

Functional microbial characteristics in acidogenic fermenters of organic wastes for production of volatile fatty acids

Le Zhanga,b, Miao Yana,b, To-Hung Tsuia,b, Jonathan T.E. Leea,b, Kai-Chee Lohb,c

NUS Environmental Research Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


Bacterial communities play a crucial role in the production of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) via acidogenic fermentation. An in-depth understanding of bacterial community diversity, composition, abundance, interactions, and metabolic networks could contribute toward enhancing microbial productivity and optimizing fermentation processes. With the advent of high-throughput sequencing technologies and bioinformatic approaches, studies of bacterial communities in acidogenic fermenters have been revolutionized in the past decade. Although community characteristics in different fermenters fed with various biowastes could be significantly different, the characterization and integration with reactor performance facilitates the improvement and optimization for the production of VFAs. This chapter provides a comprehensive insight into the microbial characteristics in acidogenic fermentation of various kinds of substrates for the production of VFAs. An overall procedure of analyzing metagenomics data of acidogenic bacterial communities is introduced. Key findings on changes in the microbial community during fermentation were summarized. Some limitations and perspectives of bioinformatic analysis of the metagenomic information of bacterial communities are also discussed.

Keywords: Acidogenic fermentation, Microbial community analysis, Volatile fatty acids, Microbial shifts, Waste management, Bioinformatic analysis.

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