Sulfide-induced inhibition of methane production from chicken manure
During methane fermentation of waste with a high content of sulfur sulfides which may inhibit the process are formed. Poultry manure is characterized by high content of this chemical element. Accordingly, the risk of inhibition of methane production is high. Nevertheless, in works devoted to the methane fermentation
of chicken manure this issue has been neglected and concentration of sulfides has not even been used as indicator during the researches. The focus has always been made on the inhibition of the process by ammonia nitrogen.
The aim of this work was to consider the mechanism of sulfide-induced inhibition of methanogenesis, factors that control it, sources of sulfides’ formation during methane fermentation of chicken manure as well as possible inhibition degree that is important to avoid negative effects and to improve the efficiency of
the biogas plant.
The main sources of sulfides during methanogenesis of chicken manure are undigested proteins which include sulfurcontaining amino acids and feathers, containing keratin which stands out among the other structural proteins by a high content of cysteine. Although feathers are very resistant to physical and chemical factors as a result of large amounts of disulfide bonds of cysteine, hydrogen bonds, and hydrophobic interactions, they
can be decomposed in a biogas plant.
Inhibitory effect of sulfides is associated with free hydrogen sulfide. Inhibition of methanogenesis may be associated with H2S penetration through the cell membrane into the cytoplasm and formation of sulfide and disulfide bonds between polypeptide chains as well as a violation of sulfur assimilation. However, the concentration of free hydrogen sulfide can't be used as the only parameter to describe sulfide-induced inhibition in anaerobic fermentation without considering the pH environment.
Factors which control inhibition of the process include total solids content in the substrate, the hydraulic retention time of the reactor, pH, temperature mode and concentration of ammonia nitrogen.
Adaptation of methanogenic microorganisms to high sulfide content is an effective method to improve the process of anaerobic digestion.
Because of the high content of sulfur in the poultry waste and significant economic losses that can be caused by sulfides, resulting from inhibition of methanogenesis, it is necessary to control their concentration during laboratory studies and operation of industrial plants that produce biogas from chicken manure.
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