Protective effect of a reverse membrane bioreactor against toluene and naphthalene in anaerobic digestion
Journal article, 2022

Raw syngas contains tar contaminants including toluene and naphthalene, which inhibit its conversion to methane. Cell encasement in a hydrophilic reverse membrane bioreactor (RMBR) could protect the cells from hydrophobic contaminants. This study aimed to investigate the inhibition of toluene and naphthalene and the effect of using RMBR. In this work, toluene and naphthalene were added at concentrations of 0.5–1.0 and 0.1–0.2 g/L in batch operation. In continuous operation, concentration of 0–6.44 g/L for toluene and 0–1.28 g/L for naphthalene were studied. The results showed that no inhibition was observed in batch operation for toluene and naphthalene at concentrations up to 1 and 0.2 g/L, respectively. In continuous operation of free cell bioreactors (FCBRs), inhibition of toluene and naphthalene started at 2.05 and 0.63 g/L, respectively. When they were present simultaneously, inhibition of toluene and naphthalene occurred at concentrations of 3.14 and 0.63 g/L, respectively. In continuous RMBRs, no inhibition for toluene and less inhibition for naphthalene were observed, resulting in higher methane production from RMBR than that of FCBR. These results indicated that RMBR system gave a better protection effect against inhibitors compared with FCBR.



reverse membrane bioreactor

protective effect

anaerobic digestion

syngas contaminants


Konstantinos Chandolias

University of Borås

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Laurenz Alan Ricardo Sugianto

Gadjah Mada University

Nurina Izazi

Gadjah Mada University

Ria Millati

Gadjah Mada University

Rahma wikandari

Gadjah Mada University

Päivi Ylitervo

University of Borås

Claes Niklasson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Mohammad Taherzadeh Esfahani

University of Borås

Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry

0885-4513 (ISSN) 1470-8744 (eISSN)

Vol. 69 3 1267 -1274

Subject Categories

Cell and Molecular Biology

Pharmacology and Toxicology

Medicinal Chemistry





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Latest update

8/8/2022 1