Effects of nonmethane volatile organic compounds on microbial community of methanotrophic biofilter

Tae Gwan Kim, Eun Hee Lee, Kyung Suk Cho

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Effects of nonmethane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) on methanotrophic biofilter were investigated. Laboratory-scale biofilters packed with pumice and granular-activated carbon (10:1, w/w) were operated with CH4 and NMVOCs including dimethyl sulfide (DMS) and benzene/toluene (B/T). DMS alone exhibited a positive effect on the methanotrophic performance; however, the coexistence of B/T removed this effect. B/T alone exerted no effect on the performance. Pyrosequencing and quantitative PCR revealed that the NMVOCs strongly influenced the bacterial and methanotrophic communities but not the population density of methanotrophs. DMS alone diversified and changed both bacterial and methantrophic communities, but its effects were nullified by the presence of B/T. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed significant correlations between the NMVOCs and community composition and significant interaction between DMS and B/T. DMS did not affect the distribution of types I/II methanotrophs (60/40), while B/T increased the abundance of type I to 82 %. DMS and B/T favored the growth of the methanotrophic bacteria Methylosarcina and Methylomonas, respectively. These results suggest that NMVOCs can be a significant abiotic factor influencing methane biofiltration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6549-6559
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments 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 RP grant 2012 of Ewha Womans University.


  • Biofilter
  • Methane
  • Methanotrophs
  • Nonmethane volatile organic compounds


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