Integrated biogas upgrading and medium-chain fatty acids production for more efficient resource recovery

Kai-Kai Wu, Lei Zhao*, Zi-Han Wang, Zhong-Fang Sun, Chuan Chen, De-Feng Xing, Yi-Feng Zhang, Nan-Qi Ren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


The conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) from biogas into medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) represents an eco-friendly resource recovery approach to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and combat global climate change. This study presented the novel concept of integrated resource recovery by coupling biogas upgrading and MCFAs production for the first time. Initially, the impact of different initial ethanol concentrations on chain elongation was examined, determining that an ethanol concentration of 160 mmol/L maximized MCFAs yield at 45.7 mmol/L. Subsequently, using this optimal ethanol supply, the integrated strategy was implemented by connecting two bioreactors in series and maintaining continuous operation for 160-day. The results were noteworthy: upgraded bio-methane purity reached 97.6 %, MCFAs production rate and carbon-flow distribution reached 24.5 mmol/L d-1 and 76.1 %, respectively. In summary, these promising outcomes pioneer a resource recovery approach, enabling the high-value utilization of biogas and the conversion of CO2 into valuable bio-chemicals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number130236
JournalBioresource Technology
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Methane
  • Carbon dioxide bio-conversion
  • Chain elongation
  • Caproate


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