Earthworm cast as a promising filter bed material and its methanotrophic contribution to methane removal

Kyung Eun Moon, Soo Yeon Lee, Sang Hyon Lee, Hee Wook Ryu, Kyung Suk Cho

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46 Scopus citations


The use of biocovers is a promising strategy toward mitigating CH4 emission from smaller and/or older landfills. In this study, a filter bed material consisting of a mixture of earthworm cast and rice paddy soil in a biocover was evaluated. Although the CH4 oxidation rate of the enriched paddy soil was 4.9 μg g-dry soil-1 h-1, it was enhanced to 25.1 μg g-dry soil-1 h-1 by adding an earthworm cast with a 3:7 ratio of earthworm cast:soil (wet weight). CO2 was found as the final oxidation product of CH4, and the mole ratio of CO2 production to CH4 consumption was 0.27. At a moisture content range of 15-40% and a temperature range of 20-40 °C, the CH4 oxidation rates of the enriched mixture were more than 57% of the maximum rate obtained at 25% moisture content and 25 °C. By denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis employing primers for the universal bacterial 16S rRNA gene, and terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis using primers for the pmoA gene, the bacterial and methanotrophic communities in the enriched mixture were mainly originate from paddy soil and earthworm cast, respectively. Both type I (mainly Methylocaldum) and type II methanotrophs (mainly Methylocystis) played important roles in CH4 oxidation in the enriched mixture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean Government (MEST, Basic Research Promotion Fund) ( KRF-2007-D00424 ). S.-Y. Lee was financially supported by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) through the Advanced Environmental Biotechnology Research Center at Pohang University of Science and Technology (R11-2003-006-06001-0). S.H. Lee was financially supported by the KOSEF NRL Program grant (R0A-2008-000-20044-0) by the Korea government (MEST).


  • Biocover
  • Earthworm cast
  • Landfill
  • Methane
  • Methanotroph


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