Compost as a Growth Medium of Methanotrophic Bacteria

del C. S., U. Mancebo; Hettiaratchi, J. P. A.; Hurtado, O.
August 2010
Journal of Solid Waste Technology & Management;Aug2010, Vol. 36 Issue 3, p751
Academic Journal
Over the last few years there has been increasing concern regarding the emission of methane into the atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse gas with a relatively high global warming potential (GWP) of 25. Considering the multitude of sources of methane, there is considerable interest in identifying and developing low cost techniques to control waste gas emissions comprising of methane. Methane-biofiltration is a potential cost effective and reliable technique available to control releases from low volume point sources. Compost has shown to be a good medium to be used in Methane-biofilters (MBFs) because it can support the bacteria responsible for methane oxidation, methanotrophs. As a MBF medium, compost provides good water holding capacity, good air permeability and intrinsic nutrients for biological growth. However, compost is a biologically unstable material that tends to break down and compact over time. This results in time dependent changes to diffusion within the filter bed and can lead to the inhibition of biological oxidation of methane and its related co-metabolic processes. Furthermore, characteristics of compost are a function of source material used in the compost operation. This paper presents results from a research program designed to evaluate the performance of compost as a biological growth medium in high-rate MBFs and the development of relationships between compost characteristics and methane oxidation efficiency of compost based media. The results indicate that methane oxidation efficiency of leaf compost is much higher than that of municipal solid waste (MSW) derived compost and wood chip compost. Furthermore, compost stability greatly influences methane oxidation efficiency with oxidation efficiency increasing with decreasing Specific Oxygen Uptake Rate (SOUR), an indicator parameter of compost stability.


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