Electricity from methane by reversing methanogenesis

Michael J. McAnulty, Venkata G. Poosarla, Kyoung Yeol Kim, Ricardo Jasso-Chávez, Bruce Ernest Logan, Thomas Keith Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Given our vast methane reserves and the difficulty in transporting methane without substantial leaks, the conversion of methane directly into electricity would be beneficial. Microbial fuel cells harness electrical power from a wide variety of substrates through biological means; however, the greenhouse gas methane has not been used with much success previously as a substrate in microbial fuel cells to generate electrical current. Here we construct a synthetic consortium consisting of: (i) an engineered archaeal strain to produce methyl-coenzyme M reductase from unculturable anaerobic methanotrophs for capturing methane and secreting acetate; (ii) micro-organisms from methane-acclimated sludge (including Paracoccus denitrificans) to facilitate electron transfer by providing electron shuttles (confirmed by replacing the sludge with humic acids), and (iii) Geobacter sulfurreducens to produce electrons from acetate, to create a microbial fuel cell that converts methane directly into significant electrical current. Notably, this methane microbial fuel cell operates at high Coulombic efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15419
JournalNature Communications
Volume8
DOIs
StatePublished - May 17 2017

Fingerprint

Electricity
reversing
Methane
electricity
methane
Bioelectric Energy Sources
Microbial fuel cells
fuel cells
sludge
Electrons
Sewage
acetates
Acetates
Geobacter
Paracoccus denitrificans
coenzymes
Humic Substances
harnesses
greenhouses
Substrates

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

McAnulty, Michael J. ; Poosarla, Venkata G. ; Kim, Kyoung Yeol ; Jasso-Chávez, Ricardo ; Logan, Bruce Ernest ; Wood, Thomas Keith. / Electricity from methane by reversing methanogenesis. In: Nature Communications. 2017 ; Vol. 8.
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Electricity from methane by reversing methanogenesis. / McAnulty, Michael J.; Poosarla, Venkata G.; Kim, Kyoung Yeol; Jasso-Chávez, Ricardo; Logan, Bruce Ernest; Wood, Thomas Keith.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 8, 15419, 17.05.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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