Impact of recovered phosphorus supply on methanotrophic cultivation and microbial protein production

Estelle Maria Goonesekera, Panagiotis Tsapekos, Irini Angelidaki, Borja Valverde-Pérez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Microbial protein is a promising dietary supplement alternative to traditional sources, being methane oxidising bacteria (MOB) an attractive option to produce it. Though current production processes rely on fossil resources, there is an increasing trend of using recovered residual nutrient streams, with most research focusing on nitrogen and methane, paying little attention to phosphorus. Struvite and precipitated calcium phosphate (PCP) were evaluated as potential residual P sources for microbial protein production after dissolved them with strong acids. MOB growth was studied in batch experiments. Yields ranged from 0.21 to 0.29 g CDW g CH4−1. Crude protein contents above 50% of dried weight were achieved, and neither the P nor the N source affected the amino acid profile significantly. The highest protein content (75%) was observed when using struvite as nutrient source, but also yielded cadmium and lead accumulation above limits set in legislation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115820
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Aerobic methanotrophs
  • Microbial protein
  • Phosphorus recovery
  • Struvite
  • Precipitated calcium phosphate


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