Dynamics of Clostridium genus and hard-cheese spoiling Clostridium species in anaerobic digesters treating agricultural biomass

Alessandra Fontana, Mariangela Soldano, Claudio Fabbri, Francesco Gallucci, Lorenzo Morelli, Fabrizio Cappa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Biogas plants are a widespread renewable energy technology. However, the use of digestate for agronomic purposes has often been a matter of concern. It is controversial whether biogas plants might harbor some pathogenic clostridial species, which represent a biological risk. Moreover, the inhabitance of Clostridium hard-cheese spoiling species in anaerobic digesters can be problematic for hard-cheese manufacturing industries, due to the issue of cheese blowing defects. This study investigated the effect of mesophilic anaerobic digestion processes on the Clostridium consortia distribution over time. Specifically, three lab-scale CSTRs treating agricultural biomass were characterized by considering both the whole microbial community and the cultivable clostridial spores. It is assessed an overall reduction of the Clostridium genus during the anaerobic digestion process. Moreover, it was evidenced a slight, but steady decrease of the cultivable clostridial spores, mainly represented by two pathogenic species, C. perfringens and C. bifermentans, and one hard-cheese spoiling species, C. butyricum. Thus, it is revealed an overall reduction of the clostridial population abundance after the mesophilic anaerobic digestion treatment of agricultural biomass.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalAMB Express
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Clostridium
  • anaerobic digesters
  • biogas
  • hard-cheese

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