Biogenic coal-to-methane conversion efficiency decreases after repeated organic amendment

Energy & Fuels
By: , and 

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Abstract

Addition of organic amendments to coal-containing systems can increase the rate and extent of biogenic methane production for 60–80 days before production slows or stops. Understanding the effect of repeated amendment additions on the rate and extent of enhanced coal-dependent methane production is important if biological coal-to-methane conversion is to be enhanced on a commercial scale. Microalgal biomass was added at a concentration of 0.1 g/L to microcosms with and without coal on days 0, 76, and 117. Rates of methane production were enhanced after the initial amendment but coal-containing treatments produced successively decreasing amounts of methane with each amendment. During the first amendment period, 113% of carbon added as amendment was recovered as methane, whereas in the second and third amendment periods, 39% and 32% of carbon added as amendment was recovered as methane, respectively. Additionally, algae-amended coal treatments produced ∼38% more methane than unamended coal treatments and ∼180% more methane than amended coal-free treatments after one amendment. However, a second amendment addition resulted in only an ∼25% increase in methane production for coal versus noncoal treatments and a third amendment addition resulted in similar methane production in both coal and noncoal treatments. Successive amendment additions appeared to result in a shift from coal-to-methane conversion to amendment-to-methane conversion. The reported results indicate that a better understanding is needed of the potential impacts and efficiencies of repeated stimulation for enhanced coal-to-methane conversion.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Biogenic coal-to-methane conversion efficiency decreases after repeated organic amendment
Series title Energy & Fuels
DOI 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.7b03426
Volume 32
Issue 3
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher ACS
Contributing office(s) WY-MT Water Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 2916
Last page 2925