High-Performance Biogas Upgrading Using a Biotrickling Filter and Hydrogenotrophic Methanogens.
This research reports the development of a biotrickling filter (BTF) to upgrade biogas, which is achieved by adding H2 to reduce CO2. H2 and CO2 (80:20% vol.) were fed to a bench-scale BTF packed with polyurethane foam (PUF) and inoculated with hydrogenotrophic methanogens. Maximum CH4 production rates recorded were as high as 38 m3CH4 m-3reactor day-1, which is 5-30 times faster than earlier reports with other kinds of bioreactors. The high rates were attributed to the efficient mass transfer and high density of methanogens in the BTF. The removal efficiencies for H2 and CO2 were 83 and 96%, respectively. 5-Cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride/DAPI staining revealed that 67% of cells were alive near the gas entrance port, while only 8.3% were alive at the exit. Furthermore, DNA sequencing showed that only 27% of the biomass was composed of Euryarchaeota, the phylum which includes methanogens. These two observations suggest that optimizing the methanogen density and activity could possibly reach even higher biogas upgrading rates.
Dupnock, TL; Deshusses, MA
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