Date of Award

Fall 2008

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Zitomer, Daniel H.

Second Advisor

Albert, Richard

Third Advisor

Maki, James


The research presented in this dissertation has two independent parts. The first part involved the investigation of the diversity of the Bacteria and Archaea communities in various methanogenic enrichment cultures that were fed varying substrates. These labscale enrichment cultures were maintained in the Water Quality Center at Marquette University for over two years. By constructing clone libraries using various molecular techniques, the microorganisms were identified. In order to avoid "stamp-collecting" the microbial communities of these enrichment cultures, various specific methanogenic activity assays (SMAs) were then completed. These SMAs helped to relate the microorganisms found in these individual enrichment cultures to their methane production in order to relate structure to function. The second part involves using the microorganisms from these enrichment cultures for the specific purpose of bioaugmentation. Bioaugmentation, the addition of a specific microorganism or mixed culture to enhance a desired activity ( e.g. methane production or Chemical Oxygen Demand (C.OD) reduction), can potentially be used to increase the recovery rate of anaerobic wastewater treatment facilities after exposure to toxicants. Bioaugmentation has been used in various applications, such as probiotics, remediation of environmental systems, and wastewater treatment. There are several applications for bioaugmentation in anaerobic digestion including removal of specific chemicals, decrease in start-up time, odor reduction, and stressed reactor recovery. This dissertation explored the use of bioaugmentation for the recovery of anaerobic digesters that were exposed to a model toxicant, oxygen. Although the enrichment cultures from the first part were used as bioaugmentation, the specific cultures chosen were not dependent on the identification results from these enrichment cultures...



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