Bioconversion of coal: New insights from a core flooding study

Stephen, Anil, Adebusuyi, Abigail, Baldygin, Aleksey, Shuster, Jeremiah, Southam, Gordon, Budwill, Karen, Foght, Julia, Nobes, David S. and Mitra, Sushanta K. (2014) Bioconversion of coal: New insights from a core flooding study. RSC Advances, 4 43: 22779-22791. doi:10.1039/c4ra01628a

Author Stephen, Anil
Adebusuyi, Abigail
Baldygin, Aleksey
Shuster, Jeremiah
Southam, Gordon
Budwill, Karen
Foght, Julia
Nobes, David S.
Mitra, Sushanta K.
Title Bioconversion of coal: New insights from a core flooding study
Journal name RSC Advances   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2046-2069
Publication date 2014
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1039/c4ra01628a
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 4
Issue 43
Start page 22779
End page 22791
Total pages 13
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract A pressurized core flooding experiment was performed to better understand in situ coal bioconversion processes. The core flooding experiment was conducted using a biaxial core holder packed with subbituminous coal particles (250-150 μm grain size) obtained from the Highvale mine in Alberta, Canada. The coal pack was inoculated with a methanogenic microbial culture enriched from coal and was continuously flooded with mineral salt medium and an organic carbon/nitrogen nutrient supplement (tryptone). The changes in the physical properties of the coal pack during the core flooding suggested coal bioconversion to methane under the experimental conditions. Colonization and bioconversion of coal by microbes was evident from the change in core permeability and presence of metabolites and gas (CH4 and CO 2) in the effluent. A total of 1.52 μmol of CH4 was produced per gram of coal during the 90 days experiment at 22 °C. Signature metabolites consistent with anaerobic biodegradation of hydrocarbons, e.g., carboxylic acids, were identified in effluent samples throughout incubation. The transient nature of metabolites in effluent samples supports fermentation of coal constituents and nutrient supplement to simple molecules such as acetic acid, which served as a substrate for methanogenesis during the bioconversion process. Accumulation of carboxylic acids such as succinic acid in the effluent also demonstrates that the coal bioconversion process may be used for extraction of other value-added products apart from CH4 generation. Importantly, results presented here suggest that coal bioconversion by biostimulation under reservoir conditions is a scalable technology with potential for energy generation and for overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This journal is
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 18 Aug 2014, 11:18:51 EST by Ashleigh Paroz on behalf of School of Earth Sciences