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Fermentation 2016, 2(2), 8; doi:10.3390/fermentation2020008

Syngas Biomethanation in a Semi-Continuous Reverse Membrane Bioreactor (RMBR)

Swedish Centre for Resource Recovery, University of Borås, Borås 50190, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thaddeus Ezeji
Received: 22 January 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Bioreactors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [847 KB, uploaded 25 March 2016]   |  


Syngas biomethanation is a potent bio-conversion route, utilizing microorganisms to assimilate intermediate gases to produce methane. However, since methanogens have a long doubling time, the reactor works best at a low dilution rate; otherwise, the cells can be washed out during the continuous fermentation process. In this study, the performance of a practical reverse membrane bioreactor (RMBR) with high cell density for rapid syngas biomethanation as well as a co-substrate of syngas and organic substances was examined in a long-term fermentation process of 154 days and compared with the reactors of the free cells (FCBR). The RMBR reached maximum capacities of H2, CO, and CO2 conversion of 7.0, 15.2, and 4.0 mmol/, respectively, at the organic loading rate of 3.40 gCOD/ The highest methane production rate from the RMBR was 186.0 mL/ on the 147th day, compared to the highest rate in the FCBR, 106.3 mL/, on the 58th day. The RMBR had the ability to maintain a high methanation capacity by retaining the microbial cells, which were at a high risk for cell wash out. Consequently, the system was able to convert more syngas simultaneously with the organic compounds into methane compared to the FCBR. View Full-Text
Keywords: syngas fermentation; methane production; semi-continuous process; reverse membrane bioreactor; co-substrate; cell retention syngas fermentation; methane production; semi-continuous process; reverse membrane bioreactor; co-substrate; cell retention

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Westman, S.Y.; Chandolias, K.; Taherzadeh, M.J. Syngas Biomethanation in a Semi-Continuous Reverse Membrane Bioreactor (RMBR). Fermentation 2016, 2, 8.

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