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Investigating the use of anaerobic fungi to enhance the hydrolysis of lignocellulose in lab scale biodigesters

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Title: Investigating the use of anaerobic fungi to enhance the hydrolysis of lignocellulose in lab scale biodigesters
Author: Ravi, Bhargavi
Department: School of Environmental Sciences
Program: Environmental Sciences
Advisor: Gilroyed, Brandon
Abstract: This thesis investigated hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass using bioaugmentation with rumen isolated anaerobic fungi (AF). Hydrolysis of corn silage was compared with hydrolysis of common reed using three different genera of AF. Based on production of H2 and CO2, accumulation of volatile fatty acids and pH change, low levels of hydrolytic activity were observed in all treatments, possibly due to poor survival of AF in experimental bioreactors. The presence of background microflora during hydrolysis was a confounding factor in assessing the efficacy of AF. In a follow up study, AF were inoculated into sterilized corn silage to remove background microbial activity. In addition to the chemical parameters measured as markers of hydrolysis, hydrolytic enzyme activity was also assessed. However, no significant improvement in hydrolysis was observed regardless of the fungal genera used, again suggesting poor survival of AF in bioreactors.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/12151
Date: 2017-12


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