Microbial Methanol Synthesis

Microbial Methanol
Team 3: Robert Clifford, Patricia Firmin,
Gen Liang, Rooma Raza
Where Do These Bacteria Live?
Lake Basin
Methanotroph Groupings
Group I: Ribulose Monophosphate Cycle
Group II: Serine Cycle
Optimize Enzyme MMO
Inhibit Enzyme MDH
Methane Monooxygenase
pMMO – Particulate Methane Monoxygenase
sMMO – Soluble Methane Monoxygenase
Advantages of using ammonia-oxidizing
bacteria (AOB)
• Oxidize methane to methanol via the nonspecific action of the
enzyme ammonia monooxygenase
• Contaminants such as moisture and CO2 do not post a limitation for
biological conversion
• Can utilize the CO2 contained in gas mixtures for cell synthesis
Metabolism of AOB
Methanol Production by AOB
• Methanol production rate varies for conditions and performance
• Maximum specific productivity is 0.82 mg methanol/ mg biomass
Industrial Challenges
• Microorganisms are limited.
• Inhibition on cell growth by H2S when methane in biogas is used.
• High-cost electron donors required for conversions
• Gas-Liquid Mass transfer limitations
• NH3 may inhibit the growth of microorganisms including
Methanotrophic strains
from AD systems
Changes in the reactor
design by using Trickling
biofilters for enhanced
methane supply
Genetic engineering of
Outlook for Microbial Conversion
Batch and Semi-batch Production
Membrane Semi-batch Process
Methanol Production Results
• Fei, Q. G., Michael. Tao, Ling. Laurens, Lieve. Dowe, Nancy. Pienk, Philip T.os.
(2014). Bioconversion of natural gas to liquid fuel: Opportunities and
challenges. 32(3), 596–614. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2014.03.011
• Ge, X., Yang, L., Sheets, J. P., Yu, Z., & Li, Y. (2014). Biological conversion of
methane to liquid fuels: Status and opportunities. Biotechnology Advances,
32, 1460-1475. doi: - http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biotechadv.2014.09.004
• Pen, N. S., L. Belleville, M.-P. Sanchez, J. Charmette, C. Paolucci-Jeanjean, D.
(2014). An innovative membrane bioreactor for methane biohydroxylation.
Bioresource Technology, 174, 42–52. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2014.10.001
• Thorn, G. J. S. (2005). Development of an Immobilized Nitrosomonas europaea
Bioreactor for the Production of Methanol from Methane thesis_fulltext.pdf. Department of Chemical Process Engineering. University
of Canterbury. Retrieved from

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