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Quantification of the methane concentration using anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to extracellular electron transfer
Gao, Y., H. Ryu, B. Rittmann, A. Hussain, AND H. Lee. Quantification of the methane concentration using anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to extracellular electron transfer. Bioresource Technology. Elsevier Online, New York, NY, 241:979-984, (2017). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2017.06.053
Microbial electrochemical (MxC) systems have shown a lot of promise in removing contaminants during the wastewater treatment process, and also for energy production. This was a proof of concept study on the feasibility of using MxC as a methane sensor. This work is the first to prove that MxCs can measure methane concentrations, which is an essential step for monitoring methane-emission potential in an efficient and sustainable manner. This work is intended for researchers and practitioners in the wastewater treatment and resource recovery fields.
A biofilm anode acclimated with acetate, acetate+methane, and methane growth media for over three years produced a steady current density of 1.6-2.3 mA/m^2 in a microbial electrochemical cell (MxC) fed with methane as the sole electron donor. Geobacter was the dominant genus for the bacterial domain (93%) in the biofilm anode, while methanogens (Methanocorpusculum labreanum and Methanosaeta concilii) accounted for 82% of the total archaeal clones in the biofilm. A fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) image clearly showed a biofilm of bacteria and archaea, supporting a syntrophic interaction between them for performing anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) in the biofilm anode. Measured cumulative coulombs correlated linearly to the methane-gas concentration in the range of 10% to 99.97% (R^2 ≥ 0.99) when the measurement was sustained for at least 50 min. Thus, cumulative coulombs over 50 min. could be used to quantify the methane concentration in gas samples.
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