Biotechnology for the mitigation of methane emission from landfills

Kyung Suk Cho, Hee Wook Ryu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Methane, as a greenhouse gas, is some 21∼25 times more detrimental to the environmental than carbon dioxide. Landfills generally constitute the most important anthropogenic source, and methane emission from landfill was estimated as 35∼73 Tg per year. Biological approaches using biocover (open system) and biofilter (closed system) can be a promising solution for older and/or smaller landfills where the methane production is too low for energy recovery or flaring and installation of a gas extraction system is inefficient. Methanotrophic bacteria, utilizing methane as a sole carbon and energy source, are responsible for the aerobic degradation (oxidation) of methane in the biological systems. Many bench-scale studies have demonstrated a high oxidation capacity in diverse filter bed materials such as soil, compost, earthworm cast and etc. Compost had been most often employed in the biological systems, and the methane oxidation rates in compost biocovers/boifilters ranged from 50 to 700 g-CH4 m-2 d-1. Some preliminary field trials have showed the suitability of biocovers/biofilters for practical application and their satisfactory performance in mitigation methane emissions. Since the reduction of landfill methane emissions has been linked to carbon credits and trading schemes, the verified quantification of mitigated emissions through biocovers/biofilters is very important. Therefore, the assessment of in situ biocovers/biofilters performance should be standardized, and the reliable quantification methods of methane reduction is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-305
Number of pages13
JournalKorean Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Biocover
  • Biofilter
  • Climate change
  • Landfill
  • Methane
  • Methanotrophic bacteria


Dive into the research topics of 'Biotechnology for the mitigation of methane emission from landfills'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this