Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 3

methane oxidation Related Abstracts

3 Effects of Small Impoundments on Leaf Litter Decomposition and Methane Derived Carbon in the Benthic Foodweb in Streams

Authors: John Gichimu Mbaka, Jan Helmrich Martin von Baumbach, Celia Somlai, Denis Köpfer, Andreas Maeck, Andreas Lorke, Ralf Schäfer


Leaf litter decomposition is an important process providing energy to biotic communities. Additionally, methane gas (CH4) has been identified as an important alternative source of carbon and energy in some freshwater food webs.Flow regulation and dams can strongly alter freshwater ecosystems, but little is known about the effect of small impoundments on leaf litter decomposition and methane derived carbon in streams. In this study, we tested the effect of small water storage impoundments on leaf litter decomposition rates and methane derived carbon. Leaf litter decomposition rates were assessed by comparing treatment sites located close to nine impoundments (Rheinland Pfalz state, Germany) and reference sites located far away from the impoundments.CH4 concentrations were measured in eleven impoundments and correlated with the δ13C values of two subfamilies of chironomid larvae (i.e. Chironomini and Tanypodinae). Leaf litter break down rates were significantly lower in study sites located immediately above the impoundments, especially associated with a reduction in the abundance of shredders. Chironomini larvae had the lower mean δ13C values (‒29.2 to ‒25.5 ‰), than Tanypodinae larvae (‒26.9 to ‒25.3 ‰).No significant relationships were established between CH4 concentrations and δ13C values of chironomids (p> 0.05).Mean δ13C values of chironomid larvae (mean: ‒26.8‰, range: ‒ 29.2‰ to ‒ 25.3‰) were similar to those of sedimentary organic matter (SOM) (mean: ‒28.4‰, range: ‒ 29.3‰ to ‒ 27.1‰) and tree leaf litter (mean: ‒29.8 ‰, range: ‒ 30.5‰ to ‒ 29.1‰). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that small impoundments may have a negative effect on leaf litter decomposition in forest streams and that CH4 has limited influence on the benthic food web in stream impoundments.

Keywords: Stable Isotopes, river functioning, chironomids, Alder tree, methane oxidation, shredder

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2 Effect of Sulphur Concentration on Microbial Population and Performance of a Methane Biofilter

Authors: Sonya Barzgar, J. Patrick, A. Hettiaratchi


Methane (CH4) is reputed as the second largest contributor to greenhouse effect with a global warming potential (GWP) of 34 related to carbon dioxide (CO2) over the 100-year horizon, so there is a growing interest in reducing the emissions of this gas. Methane biofiltration (MBF) is a cost effective technology for reducing low volume point source emissions of methane. In this technique, microbial oxidation of methane is carried out by methane-oxidizing bacteria (methanotrophs) which use methane as carbon and energy source. MBF uses a granular medium, such as soil or compost, to support the growth of methanotrophic bacteria responsible for converting methane to carbon dioxide (CO₂) and water (H₂O). Even though the biofiltration technique has been shown to be an efficient, practical and viable technology, the design and operational parameters, as well as the relevant microbial processes have not been investigated in depth. In particular, limited research has been done on the effects of sulphur on methane bio-oxidation. Since bacteria require a variety of nutrients for growth, to improve the performance of methane biofiltration, it is important to establish the input quantities of nutrients to be provided to the biofilter to ensure that nutrients are available to sustain the process. The study described in this paper was conducted with the aim of determining the influence of sulphur on methane elimination in a biofilter. In this study, a set of experimental measurements has been carried out to explore how the conversion of elemental sulphur could affect methane oxidation in terms of methanotrophs growth and system pH. Batch experiments with different concentrations of sulphur were performed while keeping the other parameters i.e. moisture content, methane concentration, oxygen level and also compost at their optimum level. The study revealed the tolerable limit of sulphur without any interference to the methane oxidation as well as the particular sulphur concentration leading to the greatest methane elimination capacity. Due to the sulphur oxidation, pH varies in a transient way which affects the microbial growth behavior. All methanotrophs are incapable of growth at pH values below 5.0 and thus apparently are unable to oxidize methane. Herein, the certain pH for the optimal growth of methanotrophic bacteria is obtained. Finally, monitoring methane concentration over time in the presence of sulphur is also presented for laboratory scale biofilters.

Keywords: Global Warming, methane oxidation, sulphur, methane biofiltration (MBF), methanotrophs

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1 Electrochemical Activity of NiCo-GDC Cermet Anode for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Operated in Methane

Authors: Kamolvara Sirisuksakulchai, Soamwadee Chaianansutcharit, Kazunori Sato


Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) have been considered as one of the most efficient large unit power generators for household and industrial applications. The efficiency of an electronic cell depends mainly on the electrochemical reactions in the anode. The development of anode materials has been intensely studied to achieve higher kinetic rates of redox reactions and lower internal resistance. Recent studies have introduced an efficient cermet (ceramic-metallic) material for its ability in fuel oxidation and oxide conduction. This could expand the reactive site, also known as the triple-phase boundary (TPB), thus increasing the overall performance. In this study, a bimetallic catalyst Ni₀.₇₅Co₀.₂₅Oₓ was combined with Gd₀.₁Ce₀.₉O₁.₉₅ (GDC) to be used as a cermet anode (NiCo-GDC) for an anode-supported type SOFC. The synthesis of Ni₀.₇₅Co₀.₂₅Oₓ was carried out by ball milling NiO and Co3O4 powders in ethanol and calcined at 1000 °C. The Gd₀.₁Ce₀.₉O₁.₉₅ was prepared by a urea co-precipitation method. Precursors of Gd(NO₃)₃·6H₂O and Ce(NO₃)₃·6H₂O were dissolved in distilled water with the addition of urea and were heated subsequently. The heated mixture product was filtered and rinsed thoroughly, then dried and calcined at 800 °C and 1500 °C, respectively. The two powders were combined followed by pelletization and sintering at 1100 °C to form an anode support layer. The fabrications of an electrolyte layer and cathode layer were conducted. The electrochemical performance in H₂ was measured from 800 °C to 600 °C while for CH₄ was from 750 °C to 600 °C. The maximum power density at 750 °C in H₂ was 13% higher than in CH₄. The difference in performance was due to higher polarization resistances confirmed by the impedance spectra. According to the standard enthalpy, the dissociation energy of C-H bonds in CH₄ is slightly higher than the H-H bond H₂. The dissociation of CH₄ could be the cause of resistance within the anode material. The results from lower temperatures showed a descending trend of power density in relevance to the increased polarization resistance. This was due to lowering conductivity when the temperature decreases. The long-term stability was measured at 750 °C in CH₄ monitoring at 12-hour intervals. The maximum power density tends to increase gradually with time while the resistances were maintained. This suggests the enhanced stability from charge transfer activities in doped ceria due to the transition of Ce⁴⁺ ↔ Ce³⁺ at low oxygen partial pressure and high-temperature atmosphere. However, the power density started to drop after 60 h, and the cell potential also dropped from 0.3249 V to 0.2850 V. These phenomena was confirmed by a shifted impedance spectra indicating a higher ohmic resistance. The observation by FESEM and EDX-mapping suggests the degradation due to mass transport of ions in the electrolyte while the anode microstructure was still maintained. In summary, the electrochemical test and stability test for 60 h was achieved by NiCo-GDC cermet anode. Coke deposition was not detected after operation in CH₄, hence this confirms the superior properties of the bimetallic cermet anode over typical Ni-GDC.

Keywords: Solid Oxide Fuel Cell, methane oxidation, bimetallic catalyst, ceria-based SOFCs

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