Development of Standardised Inocula for Implementation in Biogas Potential Determination

(Sub-)Project Management:Prof. Dr.-Ing. K. Kuchta

J. Heerenklage, I. Atamaniuk, M. Abis,

Former: D. Rechtenbach, T. Voss, K. Sahm,

I. Röske, T. Rehn, G. Antranikian

Contact:J. Heerenklage
Client / Funding:FNR (Fachagentur für nachwachsende Rohstoffe)
Project Partner:Institute of Technical Microbiology, Hamburg University of Technology
Project Volume:323.600 €
Running Time:09/2014 - 11/2017

In anaerobic studies to test the biodegradability of different substrates, inocula are applied in order to provide necessary biomass for anaerobic digestion. These inocula contain a variety of different microbial species, but so far have not been standardised. Instead, they differ in their origins and composition, and resultantly in their degradation activity. Furthermore, these inocula are limited in their ability to be stored and their characteristics (possibly metabolic performance) may alter due to changes in microbial composition. Hence arises the problem that results from different studies likely cannot be compared with each other. The determination of biodegradability and biogas production potential of a substrate is, however, of great importance.

The goal of the project is to develop the fundamentals for the development and production of anaerobic inocula under standardised conditions and to demonstrate their implementation. Through an optimised combination of various conservation methods, a storable inoculum is to be obtained. This can be applied for reproducibly stable biogas potential determination tests. This standardised inoculum will be developed through methods of freeze-drying (i.e. lyophilisation). The standardisation and development of an inocula bank will contribute to the harmonisation of different research methods.