Characterization of tobermolite as a bed material for selective growth of methanotrophs in biofiltration

Tae Gwan Kim, So Yeon Jeong, Kyung Suk Cho

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Tobermolite was characterized as a bed material for methanotrophic biofiltration. A lab-scale biofilter packed with tobermolite was operated for different operation times under identical conditions. The three different runs showed similar acclimation patterns of methane oxidation, with methane removal efficiency increasing rapidly for the first few days and peaking within three weeks, after which the efficiency remained stable. The mean methane removal capacities ranged from 766gm-3d-1 to 974gm-3d-1 after acclimation. Pyrosequencing indicated that the methanotrophic proportion (methanotroph/bacteria) increased to 71-94% within three weeks. Type I methanotrophs Methylocaldum and Methylosarcina were dominant during the initial growth period, then Methylocaldum alone dominated the methanotrophic community. A community comparison showed that total bacterial and methanotrophic communities were temporally stable after the initial growth period. Quantitative PCR showed that methanotrophic density increased during the first 3-4 weeks, then remained stable over 120 days. Tobermolite can provide a special habitat for the selective growth of methanotrophs, resulting in rapid acclimation. Tobermolite also allows the microbial community and methanotrophic density to remain stable, resulting in stable methane biofiltration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-97
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) (NRL program, R0A-2008-000-20044-0 ) and NRF-2012R1A2A2A03046724 funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and future Planning .


  • Biofilter
  • Methane
  • Methanotrophs
  • Selective growth
  • Tobermolite


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