Counting and Demonstrating Electron Transfer in Buswell’s Equation

  •  Pong Kau Yuen    
  •  Cheng Man Diana Lau    


Anaerobic digestion is a microorganism-mediated redox system chemically represented by Buswell’s equation. In the equation, the quantity of methane and carbon dioxide can be counted by the elemental composition of organic matter; however, there is a lack of connection between electron transfer and formations of methane and carbon dioxide. Although the mechanism of direct interspecies and mediated interspecies electron transfer in anaerobic digestion has been widely researched, the method of counting electron transfer in Buswell’s equation has not yet been explored. This article develops a method to count electron transfer of organic molecules in Buswell’s equation. Mathematical equations are established through integration of relationships between mean oxidation number of organic carbons, quantity of methane, and number of transferred electrons. With any known organic structural formula, three tasks can be achieved: (1) determination of the Buswell-Ratio, (2) counting of Buswell-Electron, and (3) demonstration of electron transfer among organic carbons by drawing the Buswell-Electron diagram.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9698
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-9701
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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