Advertisement

Bioconversion of Methane for Value-Added Products

  • Qiang Fei
  • Philip T. Pienkos
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter will briefly summarize the background of methane production from natural gas and biogas together with an introduction to the biomolecular basis of methanotrophy and the actual and potential commercial applications. This chapter also discusses the safety considerations for using methane in laboratory and safe development of methane-based bioprocesses. In the end, this chapter will focus on the process development for biological conversion of methane into desired products with attention to the enhancement of mass transfer efficiency and the development of bioreactor designs.

Keywords

Methane Natural gas Shale gas Biogas Anaerobic fermentation Single-cell protein Biochemicals Biofuel Methanotroph Methane monooxygenase RuMP cycle Serine cycle Safety control Upper explosive limit Lower explosive limit Limiting oxygen concentration Bioconversion Fed-batch culture Continuous culture Mass transfer efficiency Bioreactor design Continuous stirred-tank bioreactors Bubble column bioreactors Airlift bioreactors Trickle-bed bioreactor Monolithic biofilm bioreactors Membrane biofilm bioreactor 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by Key Research and Development Plan (2017GY-146) of Shaanxi Province of China and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) of the US Department of Energy.

References

  1. Alvarez-Cohen L (1993) Application of methanotrophic oxidations for the bioremediation of chlorinated organics. Microbial growth on C1 compounds, pp 337–350Google Scholar
  2. Anthony C (1982) The biochemistry of methylotrophs. Academic, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Arcangeli J-P, Arvin E (1999) Modelling the growth of a methanotrophic biofilm: estimation of parameters and variability. Biodegradation 10:177–191CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Asenjo JA, Suk JS (1986) Microbial conversion of methane into poly-β-hydroxybutyrate (PHB): growth and intracellular product accumulation in a type II methanotroph. J Ferment Technol 64:271–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barton JW, Davison BH, Klasson KT, Gable CC (1999) Estimation of mass transfer and kinetics in operating trickle-bed bioreactors for removal of VOCS. Environ Prog 18:87–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bewersdorff M, Dostálek M (1971) The use of methane for production of bacterial protein. Biotechnol Bioeng 13:49–62CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Bousquet P, Ciais P, Miller J, Dlugokencky E, Hauglustaine D, Prigent C et al (2006) Contribution of anthropogenic and natural sources to atmospheric methane variability. Nature 443:439–443CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Bredwell MD, Srivastava P, Worden RM (1999) Reactor design issues for synthesis-gas fermentations. Biotechnol Prog 15:834–844CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Caldwell SL, Laidler JR, Brewer EA, Eberly JO, Sandborgh SC, Colwell FS (2008) Anaerobic oxidation of methane: mechanisms, bioenergetics, and the ecology of associated microorganisms. Environ Sci Technol 42:6791–6799CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Cantera S, Lebrero R, Rodríguez E, García-Encina PA, Muñoz R (2017) Continuous abatement of methane coupled with ectoine production by Methylomicrobium alcaliphilum 20Z in stirred tank reactors: a step further towards greenhouse gas biorefineries. J Clean Prod 152:134–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clapp LW, Regan JM, Ali F, Newman JD, Park JK, Noguera DR (1999) Activity, structure, and stratification of membraneattached methanotrophic biofilms cometabolically degrading trichloroethylene. Water Sci Technol 39:153–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coleman WJ, Vidanes GM, Cottarel G, Muley S, Kamimura R, Javan AF, et al (2014) Biological conversion of multi-carbon compounds from methane. Google PatentsGoogle Scholar
  13. Dalton H (1992) Methane oxidation by methanotrophs. Physiological and mechanistic implications. Biotechnology handbookCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Davis R, Tao L, Scarlata C, Tan E, Ross J, Lukas J, et al (2015) Process design and economics for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to hydrocarbons: dilute-acid and enzymatic. National Renewable Energy LaboratoryGoogle Scholar
  15. Dedysh SN, Knief C, Dunfield PF (2005) Methylocella species are facultatively methanotrophic. J Bacteriol 187:4665–4670CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Dunfield PF, Yuryev A, Senin P, Smirnova AV, Stott MB, Hou S et al (2007) Methane oxidation by an extremely acidophilic bacterium of the phylum Verrucomicrobia. Nature 450:879–882CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. EIA (2016) Natural Gas Summary. US Department of Energy. http://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/ng_sum_lsum_dcu_nus_a.htm
  18. EPA (2000) Facts About Landfill Gas. United States Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/waste/central/lfgfact.pdf
  19. EPA (2015) Inventory of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and sinks: 1990-2013. US Environmental Protection AgencyGoogle Scholar
  20. Fei Q, Chang HN, Shang L, Choi J-D-R (2011a) Exploring low-cost carbon sources for microbial lipids production by fed-batch cultivation of Cryptococcus albidus. Biotechnol Bioprocess Eng 16:482–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fei Q, Chang HN, Shang L, Kim N, Kang J (2011b) The effect of volatile fatty acids as a sole carbon source on lipid accumulation by Cryptococcus albidus for biodiesel production. Bioresour Technol 102:2695–2701CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Fei Q, Brigham CJ, Lu J, Sinskey AJ (2013a) Production of branched-chain alcohols by recombinant Ralstonia eutropha in fed-batch cultivation. Biomass Bioenergy 56:334–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fei Q, Smith H, Dowe N, Pienkos PT (2013b) Effects of culture medium ingredients on cell growth in batch cultures of Methylomicrobium buryatense with methane as a sole carbon source. Recent Advances in Fermentation Technology (RAFT). http://sim.confex.com/sim/raft10/webprogrampreliminary/Paper25952.html
  24. Fei Q, Fu R, Shang L, Brigham CJ, Chang HN (2014a) Lipid production by microalgae Chlorella protothecoides with volatile fatty acids (VFAs) as carbon sources in heterotrophic cultivation and its economic assessment. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng:1–10Google Scholar
  25. Fei Q, Guarnieri MT, Tao L, Laurens LML, Dowe N, Pienkos PT (2014b) Bioconversion of natural gas to liquid fuel: opportunities and challenges. Biotechnol Adv 32:596–614CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Fei Q, Smith H, Dowe N, Pienkos PT (2014c) Effects of culture conditions on cell growth and lipid production in the cultivation of Methylomicrobium buryatense with CH4 as the sole carbon source. SIMB annual meeting and exhibition, July 20–24, 2014, St. LouisGoogle Scholar
  27. Fei Q, Tao L, Pienkos PT, Guarnieri M, Palou-Rivera I (2014d) Techno-economic analysis of bioconversion of methane into biofuel and biochemical. The 11th bioprocess international conference and exhibition, Oct 20–24 2014. BioProcess International, BostonGoogle Scholar
  28. Fei Q, Wewetzer SJ, Kurosawa K, Rha C, Sinskey AJ (2015) High-cell-density cultivation of an engineered Rhodococcus opacus strain for lipid production via co-fermentation of glucose and xylose. Process Biochem 50:500–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fei Q, O’Brien M, Nelson R, Chen X, Lowell A, Dowe N (2016) Enhanced lipid production by Rhodosporidium toruloides using different fed-batch feeding strategies with lignocellulosic hydrolysate as the sole carbon source. Biotechnol Biofuels 9:130CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Gas L (2013) Lower and upper explosive limits for flammable gases and vapors (LEL/UEL). Matheson Gas Products, p 22Google Scholar
  31. Hamer G, Hedén CG, Carenberg CO (1967) Methane as a carbon substrate for the production of microbial cells. Biotechnol Bioeng 9:499–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Han B, Su T, Wu H, Gou Z, Xing X-H, Jiang H et al (2009) Paraffin oil as a “methane vector” for rapid and high cell density cultivation of Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 83:669–677CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Henstra AM, Sipma J, Rinzema A, Stams AJ (2007) Microbiology of synthesis gas fermentation for biofuel production. Curr Opin Biotechnol 18:200–206CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Hill A, Kelley R, Srivastava V, Akin C, Hayes T, Frank J (1990) Bench-scale co-oxidative production of propylene oxide by methanotrophs. Institute of Gas Technology, Chicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  35. Im J, Lee SW, Yoon S, DiSpirito AA, Semrau JD (2011) Characterization of a novel facultative Methylocystis species capable of growth on methane, acetate and ethanol. Environ Microbiol Rep 3:174–181CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Kennedy M, Krouse D (1999) Strategies for improving fermentation medium performance: a review. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 23:456–475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Klasson K, Gupta A, Clausen E, Gaddy J (1993) Evaluation of mass-transfer and kinetic parameters for Rhodospirillum rubrum in a continuous stirred tank reactor. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 39:549–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Knittel K, Boetius A (2009) Anaerobic oxidation of methane: progress with an unknown process. Annu Rev Microbiol 63:311–334CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Lieberman RL, Rosenzweig AC (2004) Biological methane oxidation: regulation, biochemistry, and active site structure of particulate methane monooxygenase. Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol 39:147–164CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Øverland M, Tauson A-H, Shearer K, Skrede A (2010) Evaluation of methane-utilising bacteria products as feed ingredients for monogastric animals. Arch Anim Nutr 64:171–189CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Park S, Hanna ML, Taylor RT, Droege MW (1992) Batch cultivation of Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b .3. Production of particulate methane monooxygenase in continuous culture. Biotechnol Bioeng 40:705–712CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Park GW, Fei Q, Jung K, Chang HN, Kim Y-C, Kim N-j et al (2014) Volatile fatty acids derived from waste organics provide an economical carbon source for microbial lipids/biodiesel production. Biotechnol J 9:1536–1546CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Pol A, Heijmans K, Harhangi HR, Tedesco D, Jetten MS, den Camp HJO (2007) Methanotrophy below pH 1 by a new Verrucomicrobia species. Nature 450:874–878CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Rahnama F, Vasheghani-Farahani E, Yazdian F, Shojaosadati SA (2012) PHB production by Methylocystis hirsuta from natural gas in a bubble column and a vertical loop bioreactor. Biochem Eng J 65:51–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Reij MW, Keurentjes JT, Hartmans S (1998) Membrane bioreactors for waste gas treatment. J Biotechnol 59:155–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rishell S, Casey E, Glennon B, Hamer G (2004) Characteristics of a methanotrophic culture in a membrane-aerated biofilm reactor. Biotechnol Prog 20:1082–1090CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Roland-Holst D, Triolo R, Heft-Neal S, Bayrami B (2013) Bioplastics in CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  48. Scanlon B (2014) NREL working to clean air in fracking process. http://www.nrel.gov/news/features/feature_detail.cfm/feature_id=73002014
  49. Schaufele ME (2013) Toxic and flammable gases in research laboratories: considerations for controls and continuous leak detection. J Chem Health Saf 20:8–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Strong P, Xie S, Clarke WP (2015) Methane as a resource: can the methanotrophs add value? Environ Sci Technol 49:4001–4018CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Tsavkelova E, Netrusov A (2012) Biogas production from cellulose-containing substrates: a review. Appl Biochem Microbiol 48:421–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. UNIBIO (2011) UniProtein. UniBio A/S. http://www.unibio.dk/?page_id=673
  53. USDA, EPA, DOE (2014) Biogas opportunities roadmap. In: U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Energy USDo, editors. www.usda.gov
  54. Vallenet D, Belda E, Calteau A, Cruveiller S, Engelen S, Lajus A et al (2013) MicroScope – an integrated microbial resource for the curation and comparative analysis of genomic and metabolic data. Nucleic Acids Res 41:D636–DD47CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Wendlandt KD, Jechorek M, Helm J, Stottmeister U (2001) Producing poly-3-hydroxybutyrate with a high molecular mass from methane. J Biotechnol 86:127–133CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Whittenbury R, Phillips K, Wilkinson J (1970) Enrichment, isolation and some properties of methane-utilizing bacteria. J Gen Microbiol 61:205–218CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. World Bank (2013) Global gas flaring reduction partnership. http://go.worldbank.org/016TLXI7N0
  58. Yamane T (1993) Yield of poly-D(-)-3-hydroxybutyrate from various carbon-sources – a theoretical-study. Biotechnol Bioeng 41:165–170CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Yazdian F, Shojaosadati SA, Nosrati M (2012) Mixing studies in loop bioreactors for production of biomass from natural gas. Iran J Chem Chem Eng 31:91Google Scholar
  60. Zhu H, Shanks BH, Choi DW, Heindel TJ (2010) Effect of functionalized MCM41 nanoparticles on syngas fermentation. Biomass Bioenergy 34:1624–1627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zlochower IA, Green GM (2009) The limiting oxygen concentration and flammability limits of gases and gas mixtures. J Loss Prev Process Ind 22:499–505CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Xi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.National Renewable Energy LaboratoryNational Bioenergy CenterGoldenUSA

Personalised recommendations