A methanogenic population was immobilized onto agar gel, polyacrylamide gel, and collagen membrane. Agar‐gel‐entrapped methanogenic microorganisms gave the highest activity. The optimum agar concentration was between 1.5 and 3% (w/v), and the optimum microbial content was 20 mg wet cells/g gel. The optimum conditions for methane production by immobilized whole cells were pH 7.0–7.5 and 37–45°C. The rate of methane production was initially 1.8 μmol/g gel/hr. Methane productivity was gradually increased and reached a steady state (4.5μmol/g gel/hr) after 25 days of incubation. The immobilized methanogenic microbial population continuously evolved methane over a 90 day period. No difference in methane productivity was observed after three months of storage at 5°C. Methane was also produced by immobilized whole cells under aerobic conditions. Furthermore, carbohydrates, such as glucose, in wastewater completely decomposed by immobilized whole cells.
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