• Dicarboxylic acid;
  • Anaerobic degradation;
  • Syntrophic oxidation

Abstract Methanogenic enrichment cultures fermented the long-chain dicarboxylates adipate, pimelate, suberate, azelate, and sebacate (C6-C10) stoichiometrically to acetate and methane. After several transfers, the cultures contained cells of only a few morphologically distinguishable types. During anaerobic degradation of dicarboxylic acids with even-numbered carbon atoms, propionate accumulated intermediately, and butyrate was the intermediate product of degradation of those with an odd number of carbon atoms. Degradation of the long-chain dicarboxylates depended strictly on the presence of hydrogenotrophic methanogens. The primary attack in these processes was β-oxidation rather than decarboxylation. A general scheme of anaerobic degradation of long-chain dicarboxylic acids has been deduced from these results.