Biotechnological aspects of sulfate reduction with methane as electron donor

Biological sulfate reduction can be used for the removal and recovery of oxidized sulfur compounds and metals from waste streams. However, the costs of conventional electron donors, like hydrogen and ethanol, limit the application possibilities. Methane from natural gas or biogas would be a more attractive electron donor. Sulfate reduction with methane as electron donor prevails in marine sediments. Recently, several authors succeeded in cultivating the responsible microorganisms in vitro. In addition, the process has been studied in bioreactors. These studies have opened up the possibility to use methane as electron donor for sulfate reduction in wastewater and gas treatment. However, the obtained growth rates of the responsible microorganisms are extremely low, which would be a major limitation for applications. Therefore, further research should focus on novel cultivation techniques. © The Author(s) 2010.

Meulepas, R. J. W., Stams, A. J. M., & Lens, P. N. L. (2010). Biotechnological aspects of sulfate reduction with methane as electron donor. Reviews in Environmental Science and Bio/Technology, 9(1), 59–78. doi:10.1007/s11157-010-9193-8

Acknowledgments This work was part the Anaerobic Methane Oxidation for Sulfate Reduction project supported by the Dutch ministries of Economical affairs, Education, culture and science and Environment and special planning as part their EET program, and was co-funded by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology through the SOWACOR project.

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