Quinols can provide reducing equivalents for the membrane-bound form of methane monooxygenase (pMMO), substituting for NADH in whole cells and membranes. Furthermore, quinols are effective reductants for the detergent-solubilized enzyme, whereas NADH is ineffective. The decyl analog of plastoquinol and duroquinol (2,3,5,6-tetramethylbenzoquinol) provide the greatest methane monooxygenase activity in whole cells and membrane suspensions, as well as detergent-solubilized samples. Lauryl maltoside is by far the best detergent for solubilization of catalytically active methane monooxygenase. Optimal pMMO activity in the detergent-solubilized fraction is obtained with a ratio of approximately 1.7 mg of detergent per milligram of membrane protein, independent of protein concentration. The detergent-solubilized pMMO retains its sensitivity to inhibition by cyanide, acetylene, and EDTA. It is also stimulated by exogenous copper, as in isolated membrane fractions. Reaction of the detergent-solubilized enzyme with [14C]acetylene results in labeling of a 26-kDa peptide, analogous to the behavior observed for isolated membrane suspensions. The selectivity of pMMO for duroquinol and decyl-plastoquinol, relative to other structurally similar quinols, suggests that the enzyme obtains reducing equivalents directly from a quinol (probably plastoquinol) in vivo.