SUMMARY: A synthetic medium containing inorganic sources of N, P, Fe, S, Ca and Mg, trace minerals and essential vitamins was developed for anaerobic degradation of cellulose to CH. A mixed culture obtained from sewage sludge and grown in batch culture in this medium degraded about 4 g cellulose l week and produced about 710 ml total gas per g cellulose degraded. The gas produced contained between 51 and 56% CH, the remainder being CO. For maximum degradation of cellulose to CH and CO, the requirement for essential salts other than HCO , Fe and S was comparable to that of other anaerobes. NH or NaCO at 20 to 24 mM and total Fe at 0·4 to 0·6 mM gave optimum conversion of cellulose to CH, while the inclusion of additional S in the presence of 1·75 mM-SO was not required.


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