Environmental Applications of Methanotrophs

authored by
Adrian Ho Kah Wye, Miye Kwon, Marcus Andreas Horn, Sukhwan Yoon

Methanotrophs are microorganisms that are able to utilize methane as the electron donor and carbon source. For long, methanotrophs have been widely studied for their application in environmental biotechnology , due mainly to the exclusive ownership of the unique enzymes that mediate oxidation of methane to methanol , namely the particulate methane monooxygenases (pMMO) and soluble methane monooxygenases (sMMO) . Utilizing these methane monooxygenases , methanotrophs are capable of co-oxidizing a broad range of organic pollutants including chlorinated ethenes . Thus, methanotrophs have long been studied and utilized as biocatalysts for in situ bioremediation of soil and aquatic environments contaminated with these xenobiotic compounds . Due to the growing concerns in anthropogenically induced climate change and global warming , methanotrophs have increasingly gained attention also for greenhouse gas mitigation purposes. Active methane removal using methanotrophic biofilters of diverse configurations have proven to be effective for treatments of gases with relatively high methane concentrations, e.g., landfill gases and animal husbandry tank exhausts. Furthermore, improving the atmospheric methane sink capability of agricultural soils has been one of the foremost foci of climate-smart soil research. This chapter provides an extensive overview of scientific and engineering breakthroughs geared towards practical applications of methanotroph biotechnology in managing impending environmental problems.

Institute of Microbiology
External Organisation(s)
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
Contribution to book/anthology
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 13 - Climate Action
Electronic version(s)
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-23261-0_8 (Access: Closed)