EBI Personnel Directory Smythe, Eoghan
This project examines the chemical and nutrient composition of two potential sources (corn stover and energy cane) of lignocellulosic stillage residues from bioenergy crops. These stillage sources form the substrate for anaerobic digestion studies. Anaerobic digestion is carried out at mesophilic (40°C) and thermophilic temperature (60°C) in a Conventional Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR) and Hybrid reactor (combining an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) and anaerobic filter). Benchtop fermenters are used to study fundamental aspects of microbial ecology and performance characteristics in the system. Molecular microbial ecology and deep sequencing approaches focus on key functional groups involved in the hydrolysis of polymers, production and utilization of hydrogen (interspecies hydrogen transfer) and acids (acid oxidation) and methanogenesis (terminal carbon and electron flow). Started in 2012.