[Digestion] Digestion Digest, Vol 2, Issue 40

Anand Karve adkarve at gmail.com
Sun Oct 24 02:31:10 PDT 2010


Dear Mr. Bapat,
the biogas plant in Wardha, which accepts 1000 kg cattle dung as a one-time
load and produces daily 3 cubic meter biogas continuously over a period of
180 days, was an absolutely novel system to me. In fact that is why I
reported it, because I felt that somebody in the AD discussion group maight
know more about it. Since neither the British scientists nor any of the
Indian scientists present there could give a scientific explanation to this
phenomenon, I have ventured a plausible explanation. The Archaea are a very
ancient group of organisms. Lignin is produced by green plants, which
evolved much later. Therefore the methanogens cannot digest lignin. The fact
that in Wardha, this particular biogas plant was producing almost 18 times
as much biogas as would be expected, can be explained by the assumption
that lignin was being digested by some other organisms and the products of
the lignin digesting organisms were being made available to the
mehanogens. But the speculation that some species of organisms conduct
extra-cellular digestion of cellulose or lignin, and make the products
of such digestion available to the methanogens, is not acceptable to me,
because if such were really the case, one would have used such organisms to
produce sugars from lignocellulosic material and then obtained alcohol from
these sugars. Since nobody has succeeded in doing this, I feel that the
organisms that digest cellulose or lignin consume the sugars themselves and
multiply their own numbers, and that the methanogens consume these microbes
to produce methane. I am ready to accept any other explanation, if it is
logical.
Yours
A.D.Karve

On Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 4:37 PM, Sumedh Bapat <sumedh.bapat at gmail.com>wrote:

> Dear Dr. Karve,
> I am sorry to comment on this again but I cannot overlook the discrepancy
> in the information you have provided here..
>
> * on October 17 you said :*
> "In any case, once it is accepted that the methanogenic organisms do not
> digest the dung directly and that they need the help of other organisms to
> digest it, one cannot accept that dung is the food of the methanogens. It is
> like saying that manure applied to a field is human food, because through a
> number of biological processes it ultimately ends up into products, which
> the humans eat."
>
> *on October 24 you said :*
> "According to text book knowledge, 1000 kg dung should have produced about
> 30,000 litres (or 30 cubic meters) biogas. But this particular biogas plant
> produces 540 cubic meters of it."
>
>
> I also happen to notice that both the subjects refer to cow dung.
> Now it can be seen that you claim that some other plant is generating 540
> times more gas than your plants.
> Do you mean that this 540 m3 gas that you saw, is produced by Methanogens
> which have consumed other similar organisms from the biogas plant , which in
> turn had "eaten" the Cpw Dung ?
> Can you please explain the sudden Biogas Generation manifold increase
> from 30 m3 (conventionally known) to 540 m3 ?
> *Again* _ Can you please provide a basis for such a finding ?
>
> Kind Regards,
> Sumedh Bapat
>
>
> On Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 12:30 AM, <
> digestion-request at lists.bioenergylists.org> wrote:
>
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>>   1. Re: Attachment to previous Article - More scientific based
>>      research and questions (Anand Karve)
>>
>>
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2010 02:43:13 +0800
>> From: Anand Karve <adkarve at gmail.com>
>> To: For Discussion of Anaerobic Digestion
>>        <digestion at lists.bioenergylists.org>
>> Subject: Re: [Digestion] Attachment to previous Article - More
>>        scientific based research and questions
>> Message-ID:
>>        <AANLkTi=qxog1xd-4Q9JOwVaNpL8S=Bgpc2n=JxY7R5a=@mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>>
>> Dear Dr. Martin,
>> I have just returned from a city called Wardha, where I attended a
>> workshop
>> arranged jointly by the Research Councils of UK and the Department of
>> Science and Technology, Government of India. About 20 scientists each from
>> UK and India were invited to this meeting.
>> In the course of field visits organised during the workshop, Dr. Soham
>> Pandya, The Director of Centre of Science for Villages, an NGO in Wardha,
>> showed us an amazing biogas plant on his campus. This biogas plant accepts
>> about 1000 kg cattle dung as a one-time load and produces daily about 3
>> cubic meters of biogas, continuously over a period of about 180 days.
>>  This
>> is not the only biogas plant constructed by him. Using funds from the
>> Department of Science and Technology, He has constructed a similar biogas
>> plant in another place called Hingoli, where a one-time load  of 1000 kg
>> dung yields biogas continuously for 6 months, to run an electricity
>> generator for daily 3 to 4 hours, to provide electric lighting to all the
>> houses in the village.  Officials of the Department of Science and
>> Technology vouched for the veracity of these claims. According to text
>> book
>> knowledge, 1000 kg dung should have produced about 30,000 litres (or 30
>> cubic meters) biogas. But this particular biogas plant produces 540 cubic
>> meters of it.
>> Neither Dr. Pandya nor any other scientist could give a
>> scientific explanation to this phenomenally high yield of biogas. Dung of
>> Indian cattle consists mainly of lignin (from the veins and midribs of the
>> grass and leaves that they feed on) and micro-organisms. One has to assume
>> in this case, that there are microbes in the dung that feed on the lignin
>> and that the methanogens digested the lignin eating microbes.
>> Yours
>> A.D.Karve
>>
>> On Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 3:53 PM, Duncan Martin <duncanjmartin at gmail.com
>> >wrote:
>>
>> > Perhaps Dr Karve & I should agree to disagree?
>> >
>> > To argue that dung is not food for the methanogens because they need
>> help
>> > to digest it is really a semantic quibble. It misses the point I was
>> > responding to - that the digestion process is not *completed *by the act
>> > of defaecation, it is merely *terminated* for the owner of the gut in
>> > question.
>> >
>> > I have never seen any serious literature suggesting that microbes are
>> > altruistic. However, the principles of commensalism are well established
>> and
>> > I see no basis for dismissing them. Moreover, the complex web of
>> metabolic
>> > interactions in AD has been extensively researched and is pretty well
>> > understood - though I am sure there is more to discover.
>> >
>> > Nor have I seen any literature whatsoever suggesting that the
>> methanogens
>> > consume other microorganisms. I would be intrigued to see a proposed
>> > mechanism.
>> >
>> > To dismiss all the textbooks as wrong (see previous postings) is
>> unhelpful,
>> > at best. Who could only say that unless he had read every one of them?
>> Of
>> > course, there are mistakes - even in the best books - if only because
>> > science moves on, so any book becomes outdated. And there are indeed
>> some
>> > layman's guides to AD that include some odd ideas - but who would take
>> them
>> > as serious guides to the science?
>> >
>> > When we find such errors, let us use this forum to report them - giving
>> > exact references. But lets not confuse newcomers to the field by
>> dismissing
>> > every other source of information as rubbish.
>> >
>> > Finally, let us accept that each of us is entitled to his opinion - but
>> > lets reserve this forum for the fruits of practical experience and
>> > evidence-based information.
>> >
>> > I suggest we draw a line under the present debate.
>> >
>> > Duncan Martin, PhD, MCIWM, MIChemE, MIEI
>> > Cloughjordan Ecovillage
>> > Ireland
>> >
>> > On 17 October 2010 16:39, Anand Karve <adkarve at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> >> Dear Duncan,
>> >> I dont believe in the theory of a chain of micro-organisms, with one
>> >> species converting the cellulose into glucose, another converting the
>> >> glucose into an organic acid (e.g. citric acid), still another
>> converting
>> >> the organic acid into acetic acid and ultimately the acetic acid being
>> >> converted by the methanogenic organisms into carbon dioxide and
>> methane. If
>> >> this were true, one would have by now isolated the organism that
>> converted
>> >> cellulose into glucose and used the glucose to produce alcohol.
>> Cellulose is
>> >> the most ubiquitously found organic compount in the world and with this
>> >> simple process, one would have produced unlimited quantity of liquid
>> fuel.
>> >> But even today, the conversion of cellulose into glucose is achieved in
>> any
>> >> industrial process by using a cellulolytic enzyme extracted from a
>> >> cellulolytic organism. The reason for this is, that the glucose
>> converted by
>> >> the organism from cellulose is consumed by the same organism. And once
>> it is
>> >> consumed by an organism, it is converted into its cell all the way down
>> to
>> >> carbon dioxide. The micro-organisms in the gut of an animal cannot be
>> >> expected to be so altruistic as to predigest the food and suply it to
>> the
>> >> methanogens. I feel that the methanogenic organisms consume the fellow
>> >> micro-organisms in the gut of animals and digest them to produce
>> methane and
>> >> carbon dioxide. Such dog-eat-dog reactions occur also in the soil
>> supplied
>> >> with organic matter.
>> >>         In any case, once it is accepted that the methanogenic
>> organisms
>> >> do not digest the dung directly and that they need the help of other
>> >> organisms to digest it, one cannot accept that dung is the food of the
>> >> methanogens. It is like saying that manure applied to a field is human
>> food,
>> >> because through a number of biological processes it ultimately ends up
>> into
>> >> products, which the humans eat.
>> >> Yours
>> >> A.D.Karve
>> >>   On Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 4:27 PM, Duncan Martin <
>> duncanjmartin at gmail.com
>> >> > wrote:
>> >>
>> >>>
>> >>> Yes, the gut methanogens do, in a sense, eat what the animal eats.
>> >>> However, it would be more accurate to say that their diet is derived
>> from
>> >>> what the animal eats. The methanogens in the gut of a cow are
>> surrounded by
>> >>> celluose and other biopolymers but they cannot digest them. They live
>> on the
>> >>> waste products of other microbial processes. The web of metabolic
>> >>> interactions is well known.
>> >>>
>> >>> Where I would "hoot out" Dr Karve is his belief that dung cannot serve
>> as
>> >>> food for the methanogens because they are "thrown out" of the body
>> along
>> >>> with the dung. I don't understand the logic here.
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
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>> >> for more information about digestion, see
>> >> Beginner's Guide to Biogas
>> >> http://www.adelaide.edu.au/biogas/
>> >> and the Biogas Wiki http://biogas.wikispaces.com/
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
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>> > for more information about digestion, see
>> > Beginner's Guide to Biogas
>> > http://www.adelaide.edu.au/biogas/
>> > and the Biogas Wiki http://biogas.wikispaces.com/
>> >
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
>> --
>> ***
>> Dr. A.D. Karve
>> President, Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI)
>>
>> *Please change my email address in your records to: adkarve at gmail.com *
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>> for more information about digestion, see
>> Beginner's Guide to Biogas
>> http://www.adelaide.edu.au/biogas/
>> and the Biogas Wiki http://biogas.wikispaces.com/
>>
>>
>>
>> End of Digestion Digest, Vol 2, Issue 40
>> ****************************************
>>
>
>
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> for more information about digestion, see
> Beginner's Guide to Biogas
> http://www.adelaide.edu.au/biogas/
> and the Biogas Wiki http://biogas.wikispaces.com/
>
>
>


-- 
***
Dr. A.D. Karve
President, Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI)

*Please change my email address in your records to: adkarve at gmail.com *
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