Different preparations of the methylreductase were tested in a simplified methylcoenzyme M methylreductase assay with artificial electron donors under a nitrogen atmosphere. ATP and Mg2+ stimulated the reaction. Tris(2,2'-bipyridine)ruthenium (II), chromous chloride, chromous acetate, titanium III citrate, 2,8-diaminoacridine, formamidinesulfinic acid, cob(I)alamin (B12s), and dithiothreitol were tested as electron donors; the most effective donor was titanium III citrate. Methylreductase (component C) was prepared by 80% ammonium sulfate precipitation, 70% ammonium sulfate precipitation, phenyl-Sepharose chromatography, Mono Q column chromatography, DEAE-cellulose column chromatography, or tetrahydromethanopterin affinity column chromatography. Methylreductase preparations which were able to catalyze methanogenesis in the simplified reaction mixture contained contaminating proteins. Homogeneous component C obtained from a tetrahydromethanopterin affinity column was not active in the simplified assay but was active in a methylreductase assay that contained additional protein components.