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Water Res. 2004 Jan;38(1):13-6.

Evidence of anoxic methane oxidation coupled to denitrification.

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Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del IPN (CINVESTAV-IPN), Depto. Biotecnología y Bioingeniería, Av. IPN. 2508, C.P. 07360, DF, San Pedro Zacatenco, Mexico.


Denitrification using methane as sole electron donor under anoxic condition was investigated. Sludge produced by a denitrifying reactor using acetate as electron donor was put in contact with methane at partial pressures from 1.8 to 35.7kPa. Nitrate depletion and gaseous nitrogen production were measured. The denitrification rate was independent of the methane partial pressure when superior or equal to 8.8kPa. The nitrate depletion was asymptotic. A denitrification rate of 0.25g NO(3)(-)-Ng(-1) VSSd(-1) was observed at the onset of culturing, followed by a slower and lineal denitrification rate of 4.9x10(-3)g NO(3)(-)-Ng(-1) VSSd(-1). Abiotic nitrate removal or the availability of another carbon source were discarded from control experiments made in the absence of methane or using sterilized inoculum.

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