The effect of different mineral nutrients on the kinetics of methane biodegradation by a mixed culture of methanotrophic bacteria was studied. The substrate factors examined were ammonia, iron, copper, manganese, phosphate, and sulphide. The presence of iron in the growth medium had a strong effect on the yield coefficient. Yield coefficients up to 0.49 mg protein per mg methane were observed when iron was added at concentrations of 0.10-5.0 mg/l. Iron addition also increased the maximum methane utilization rate. The same effect was observed after addition of ammonium to a medium where nitrate was the only nitrogen source. The observed Monod constant for methane utilization increased with increasing concentration of ammonia. This shows that ammonia is a weak competitive inhibitor as observed by other researchers. Relatively high levels of both ammonia (70 mg/l) and copper (300 mu-g/l) inhibited the methane degradation, probably due to the toxic effect of copper-amine complexes.