Formate-removing inoculum dominated by Methanobacterium congolense supports succinate production from crude glycerol fermentation

Nam Yeun Kim, Chung Min Lee, So Young Kim, Ok Bin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We developed a formate-removing methanogenic inoculum (FRI) to facilitate succinate production from crude glycerol by Escherichia coli. FRI converted formate to methane, thereby enabling glycerol fermentation without additional electron acceptors under neutral pH. FRI was selectively enriched from sludge from the anaerobic digester of the Seonam sewage treatment plant (Seoul); this process was assessed via Illumina sequencing and scanning electron microscopy imaging. Methanobacterium congolense species occupied only 0.3% of the archaea community in the sludge and was enriched to 99.5% in complete FRI, wherein succinate-degrading bacteria were successfully eliminated. Co-culture with FRI improved glycerol fermentation and yielded 7.3 mM succinate from 28.7 mM crude glycerol, whereby FRI completely converted formate into methane. This study is the first to demonstrate methane production by M. congolense species, using formate. M. congolense-dominated FRI can serve as a renewable facilitator of waste feedstock fermentation and enable the production of commercially important compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-634
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 10 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Basic Research Laboratory (BRL) and the Basic Science Research Program through a National Research Foundation (NRF) grant funded by the government of Korea (MSIP) (NRF-2015R1A4A1041997) and (NRF-2015R1C1A2A01053608).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology.


  • Crude glycerol
  • Formate-removing inoculum
  • Methanobacterium congolense
  • Methanogen
  • Succinate


Dive into the research topics of 'Formate-removing inoculum dominated by Methanobacterium congolense supports succinate production from crude glycerol fermentation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this