MIKE – Methanation of CO2 from biogas by microbial electrosynthesis

Bild Forschungsprojekt
Period: 01.09.2016 - 31.08.2019
Partner: Infraserv GmbH & Co. Höchst KG, Ifn FTZ GmbH, Provadis School of International Management and Technology
Funder: BMBF
Project Manager: Dr. Florian Mayer, Franziska Enzmann
Research Group: Industrial Biotechnology

Commercial produced biogas contains app. 60% of methane, 35% of CO2 and 5% of steam, nitrogen and further impurities. To feed in the biogas into the existing natural gas grid it has to be cleaned from all impurities at the moment in a cost-intensive way.

In line with the funding initiative “CO2Plus – Stoffliche Nutzung von CO2 zur Verbreiterung der Rohstoffbasis“ from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research the project “MIKE” is going to use microbial electrosynthesis to increase the methane output of an industrial biogas plant and therefore to reduce the cleaning effort.

In microbial electrosynthesis electroactive microorganisms take up electrons from a cathode for the reduction of CO2 to different chemical products, e.g. methane. In contrast to other processes, the microbial electrosynthesis has very high cathodic electron efficiency (> 80%). As electron source current can be used from renewable energies or from excess current.



The main goals of the project are as follows:

  1. Development of a robust biocatalyst for the microbial electrosynthesis of CH4 from impure CO2 of an industrial biogas plant.
  2. Engineering and construction of a MES-prototype and testing on the lab scale.
  3. Integration of the MES pilot plant into one of the biggest industrial biogas plants at the industrial park Höchst (Frankfurt, Germany).
  4. Operation of the MES-prototype under real industrial conditions over several months.
  5. Evaluation of the developed processes by economic calculations and CO2 footprint.

Due to the project “MIKE”, not only the methane yield of an industrial biogas plant can be increased, but also excess current can be stored as methane.




Dr. Florian Mayer

Tel.: +49 69 / 75 64-465

Dr. Dirk Holtmann

Tel.: +49 69 / 75 64-610

Franziska Enzmann

Tel.: +49 69 / 75 64-481



F. Enzmann, F. Mayer, M. Stöckl, K.-M. Mangold, R. Hommel, D. HoltmannChemical Engineering Science (2018)

F. Enzmann, F. Mayer, M. Rother, D. HoltmannAMB Express (2018) 8:1

F. Mayer, F. Enzmann, A. M. Lopez, and D. Holtmann                   BIOspektrum 23:4 (2017) 471–473


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