Process stability examinations of bioelectromethanogenesis using a pure culture of M. maripaludis

F. Enzmann, D. Gronemeier, D. Holtmann

The production of chemicals and fuels in bioelectrochemical systems using CO2 and electrical current as substrates for metabolic processes is on the turning point from lab scale to first pilot plant applications. However, for industrial use, the production of fuels, such as methane needs to be a reliable process resistant against system failures and power fluctuations. Therefore, we briefly show some system failure experiments carried out for bioelectromethanogenesis. It was observed that the bioelectromethanogenesis process is long term stable (450 h) with a minimum of maintenance, suggesting that the technology is viable. Testing failures of relevant process conditions, the current consumption and methane production rate recovered quickly after a shut-off of the applied potential or the gas supply, but did not fully recover during 24 h after a breakdown in temperature control or a sudden shift in the in-gas composition. This results show that the process will be relatively stable during shut-off times or system failures in industrial applications, which makes it feasible to conduct further research and construct first pilot plants.

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