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Review of Sustainable Methane Mitigation and Biopolymer Production

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-05-15, 10:34 authored by O. P. Karthikeyan, Samuel Cirés, Kirsten Heimann, K. Chidambarampadmavathy

Biological methane (CH4) mitigation combined with biopolymer (PHA-polyhydroxyalkaonate/PHB-polyhydroxybutyrate) production is a viable option in this fossil fuel-constrained era. Methantrophs are bacteria that can re-route CH4 into PHA/PHB under nutrient-starved conditions. However, most studies (up to 90%) investigated pure cultures to demonstrate capacity for PHA/PHB accumulation, which on an industrial scale is unlikely to be serviceable. Furthermore, commercialization is handicapped as there are still a number of unresolved issues which affect productivities, such as optimized process variables, characterization of robust consortia, and optimized reactor design. This review will summarize existing knowledge and highlight research needs to fast track methanotrophic PHA/PHB production from CH4.