Inhibition of methanogenesis in pure cultures by ammonia, fatty acids, and heavy metals, and protection against heavy metal toxicity by sewage sludge
Jarrell, K.F.; Saulnier, M.; Ley, A.
Canadian Journal of Microbiology 33(6): 551-554
The effect of ammonium chloride, sodium butyrate, sodium propionate, and the heavy metals nickel, zinc, and copper on methanogenesis by pure cultures of Methanospirillum hungatei, Methanosarcina barkeri, Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum, and Methanobacterium formicicum at pH 6.5 was studied. The latter three strains were resistant to greater than 60 g/L of the volatile fatty acids and to greater than 10 g/L of NH3 N. Methanospirillum hungatei was somewhat more sensitive with 50% inhibition of methanogenesis occurring at 4.2 g/L NH3 N, 27 g/L butyrate, and 41 g/L propionate. All strains were very sensitive to both copper (1-5 mg/L) and zinc (1-10 mg/L), but much more resistant to nickel. Zinc and copper concentrations 30 to 270 times higher were required to cause inhibition of Msp. hungatei incubated in sewage sludge compared with buffer, indicating a strong protective environment was afforded the methanogens against heavy metal toxicity in the sludge.