Author : V.O Aniaku1, J.C Ogbonna2, A.I Okoh3, U.U Nwodo4

The effects of four microbial consortia at different digestion temperatures on methane
production from chicken feather were evaluated. The result of the physicochemical analysis of chicken feather
powder showed that the carbon and nitrogen content was 55.97% and 14.0% respectively with carbon-nitrogen
ratio of 4:1. Chicken feather powder was biologically-treated with mixed broth cultures of Geobacillus
stearothermophillus and Bacillus licheniformis at 37oC and pH of 7.50 for 5 days under submerged fermentation
to disrupt the disulphide and hydrogen bonds of α- and β-keratin proteins for easy hydrolysis prior to anaerobic
digestion. Anaerobic fermentation lasted for an average of 28 days at four temperature regimes and pH of 6.8-
7.0 using four microbial consortia isolated from cow dung and chicken feather dump-site soil samples. The
biogas produced was purified to upgrade it to methane standard using chemical absorption and adsorption
methods. The result of methane produced by the consortia under different temperature conditions show that
consortium 4 which contained more of the methanogens has better methane-yielding ability than others. The
highest yield of gas was 1313 cm3 at 55oC using consortium 4 for biotreated substrate and 739 cm3 for untreated
substrate. The optimum temperature of activity of the consortia was 55oC with the highest methane yield of
1313 cm3/200gm while the maximum was 65oC with decline in gas yield. The analysis of variance of the results
on gas volumes from different treatments showed that methane yield was significantly (0≤0.0.05) dependent on
the microbial consortia, nature of substrate and fermentation temperatures.
Affiliation :
1,2Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
1,3,4Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, School of Biological and Environmental
Sciences, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa
Keywords : Chicken feather, Microbial consortia, Anaerobic digestion, Temperatures, Keratinase, Methane
Date : Friday ,31 ,March ,2017

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