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This content will become publicly available on September 29, 2018

Title: Optimization of biogenic methane production from coal

Given continuously increasing global energy needs, diversified efforts have been made to find and exploit new natural gas resources. These include coalbed methane (CBM), which represents an important global, unconventional source of natural gas. Efforts have been underway for some time to more effectively generate methane in-situ in coal plays by introduction of nutrients and/or microbial consortia. However, much is still to be learned about the limitations and environmental conditions that support microbial growth and are conducive to biogenic methane production from coal. Here we evaluated environmental conditions that led to increased methane production from subbituminous coal by introducing a foreign methanogenic consortium that included Methanobacterium sp. Furthermore, we used a central composite design (CCD) to explore a broad range of operational conditions, examine the effects of the important environmental factors, such as temperature, pH and salt concentration, and query a feasible region of operation to maximize methane production from coal. An anticipated detrimental effect of NaCl concentration on methane production was observed for the consortium assessed. The range of feasible operational conditions comprised initial pH values between 4.2 and 6.8, temperatures between 23 °C and 37 °C, and NaCl concentrations between 3.7 mg/cm 3 and 9.0 mg/cm 3. Coalmore » biogasification was optimal for this consortium at an initial pH value of 5.5, at 30 °C, and at a NaCl concentration 3.7 mg/cm 3 (i.e., 145,165 ppm, which is 25.6 sft 3/ton).« less
 [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4]
  1. Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States). Dept. of Chemical Engineering
  2. Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States). Dept. of Chemical Engineering; Energy and Geoscience Inst., Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
  3. Inotec Inc., Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
  4. Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States). Dept. of Materials Science Engineering
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
International Journal of Coal Geology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 183; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0166-5162
Research Org:
Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
Country of Publication:
United States
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; Optimization; Microbial consortium; Methanogenesis; CBM; Methane
OSTI Identifier: