People > Marcelo Garcia, PhD
Environmental Engineering, completed December 2008
Research: Unraveling the syntrophic acetate oxidizing bacteria in anaerobic digesters treating swine waste.
The overall goal of the proposed study was to improve stability of farm-based anaerobic digestion treating swine waste. The supporting objectives were: 1. to perform hypothesis-driven research to understand the role of syntrophic bacteria in anaerobic digestion stability; 2. to develop innovative techniques, which will be used to study the syntrophic bacteria in anaerobic digestion systems ; and 3. to validate results with full-scale systems. To improve the stability of anaerobic digesters a mechanistic understanding of the microbial population dynamics is required and such information can only be found when utilizing culture-independent molecular biology techniques to classify and quantify syntrophic bacteria. Lab-scale anaerobic sequencing batch reactor (ASBR), serum bottle, and micro-bioreactor systems were operated to ascertain if syntrophic bacteria are below a critical threshold or too sensitive to perturbations for a stable operation of anaerobic digesters treating swine waste at high-ammonia-N levels.
Placement: Assistant Professor, University of Sao Paulo, Rio Claro, Brazil.