In this study, a fully automated process converting hydrogen and carbon dioxide to methane in a high temperature trickle-bed reactor was developed from lab scale to field test level. The reactor design and system performance was optimized to yield high methane content in the product gas for direct feed-in to the gas grid. The reaction was catalyzed by a pure culture of Methanothermobacter thermoautotrophicus IM5, which formed a biofilm on ceramic packing elements. During 600 h in continuous and semi-continuous operation in countercurrent flow, the 0.05 m3 reactor produced up to95.3 % of methane at a methane production rate of 0.35 [Formula: see text] . Adding nitrogen as carrier gas during startup, foam control and dosing of ammonium and sodium sulfide as nitrogen and sulfur source were important factors for process automation.
Keywords: Biological methanation; Power-to-Gas; Reactor concept; Thermophilic archaea; Trickle-bed reactor.
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