Anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to thiosulfate reduction in a biotrickling filter

Bioresour Technol. 2017 Sep:240:214-222. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2017.03.003. Epub 2017 Mar 6.


Microorganisms from an anaerobic methane oxidizing sediment were enriched with methane gas as the substrate in a biotrickling filter (BTF) using thiosulfate as electron acceptor for 213days. Thiosulfate disproportionation to sulfate and sulfide were the dominating sulfur conversion process in the BTF and the sulfide production rate was 0.5mmoll-1day-1. A specific group of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB), belonging to the Desulforsarcina/Desulfococcus group, was enriched in the BTF. The BTF biomass showed maximum sulfate reduction rate (0.38mmoll-1day-1) with methane as sole electron donor, measured in the absence of thiosulfate in the BTF. Therefore, a BTF fed with thiosulfate as electron acceptor can be used to enrich SRB of the DSS group and activate the inoculum for anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to sulfate reduction.

Keywords: Anaerobic methane oxidation; Biotrickling filter; Sulfate reducing bacteria; Sulfide production; Thiosulfate disproportionation.

MeSH terms

  • Bioreactors
  • Methane / chemistry*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Sulfates
  • Sulfur-Reducing Bacteria
  • Thiosulfates*


  • Sulfates
  • Thiosulfates
  • Methane