Biotechnological aspects of sulfate reduction with methane as electron donor

R.J.W. Meulepas, A.J.M. Stams, P.N.L. Lens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Biological sulfate reduction can be used for the removal and recovery of oxidized sulfur compounds and metals from waste streams. However, the costs of conventional electron donors, like hydrogen and ethanol, limit the application possibilities. Methane from natural gas or biogas would be a more attractive electron donor. Sulfate reduction with methane as electron donor prevails in marine sediments. Recently, several authors succeeded in cultivating the responsible microorganisms in vitro. In addition, the process has been studied in bioreactors. These studies have opened up the possibility to use methane as electron donor for sulfate reduction in wastewater and gas treatment. However, the obtained growth rates of the responsible microorganisms are extremely low, which would be a major limitation for applications. Therefore, further research should focus on novel cultivation techniques
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-78
JournalReviews in Environmental Science & Bio-technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • coenzyme-m reductase
  • gas-lift reactor
  • continuous-flow bioreactor
  • hydraulic retention time
  • anoxic marine-sediments
  • acid-mine drainage
  • mexico cold seeps
  • rich waste-water
  • big-soda lake
  • anaerobic oxidation


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