Iron limitation effect on H2/CO2 biomethanation: experimental and model analysis

Farinaz Ebrahimian, Giovanna Lovato, Merlin Alvarado-Morales, Muhammad Tahir Ashraf, José Alberto Domingues Rodrigues, Panagiotis Tsapekos*, Irini Angelidaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

75 Downloads (Pure)


Trace metals are indispensable for the metalloenzymes involved for efficient H2/CO2 biomethanation. In-depth understanding of trace metals requirements of methanogens cannot only lead to robust and stable operation, but also can enhance CH4 productivity. In this study, the effect of Fe, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se, Mo and W on the H2/CO2 biomethanation was examined. In a period of nutrient deprivation, suppression of hydrogenotrophic archaea was revealed at higher feed gas rates, leading to a significant drop in CH4 content and a concomitant rise in acetic acid concentration. After nutrient supplementation, the increase in Co, Ni and Fe concentrations were pivotal factors for enhanced methanogenic activity, leading to a CH4 content of more than 98% in the outlet biogas and a sharp drop in acetic acid concentration. Moreover, mathematical modeling was employed to simulate the influence of the most prominent element, iron, on the biomethanation process. The amended BioModel demonstrated that Fe limitation suppresses hydrogenotrophic archaea which consequently leads to H2 accumulation and growth of homoacetogenic bacteria.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109529
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number2
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Biogas upgrading
  • Biomethanation
  • Homoacetogenesis
  • Hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Nutrient


Dive into the research topics of 'Iron limitation effect on H2/CO2 biomethanation: experimental and model analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this