Syntrophic degradation of fatty acids by methanogenic communities

A.J.M. Stams, P. Worm, D.Z. Sousa, M.M. Alves, C.M. Plugge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In methanogenic environments degradation of fatty acids is a key process in the conversion of organic matter to methane and carbon dioxide. For degradation of fatty acids with three or more carbon atoms syntrophic communities are required. This chapter describes the general features of syntrophic degradation in methanogenic environments and the properties of the microorganisms involved. Syntrophic fatty acid-degrading communities grow at the minimum of what is thermodynamically possible and they employ biochemical mechanisms to share the minimum amount of chemical energy that is available. Aggregation of the syntrophic fatty acid-degrading communities is required for high rate conversion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrobial technologies in advanced biofuels production
EditorsP.C. Hallenbeck
ISBN (Print)9781461412076
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Butyrate degradation
  • Energetics
  • Fatty acid degradation
  • Hydrogen flux
  • Metabolic interaction
  • Methanogenesis
  • Propionate degradation
  • Syntrophic


Dive into the research topics of 'Syntrophic degradation of fatty acids by methanogenic communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this