Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 25 times that of carbon dioxide on a 100-year horizon. The discovery of nitrite/nitrate-dependent anerobic methane oxidation (n-DAMO) process, in which methane is oxidized anaerobically to provide electrons for denitrification, forms an important link between global carbon and nitrogen cycles and fundamentally changes our understanding of the methane cycle. It not only stimulates the appreciation of the ecological significance of n-DAMO microorganisms, but also opens novel avenues to develop more sustainable wastewater treatment processes.

High-level nitrogen removal cannot be achieved through the conventional Anammox process, as part (20%) of the nitrite is converted into nitrate. Nitrate reduction by n-DAMO archaea using methane as an electron donor provides a novel possibility of achieving complete nitrogen removal through the cooperation of Anammox and DAMO archaea. On the other hand, the involvement of n-DAMO bacteria will entail the system with robustness against influent dynamics. In such a process, nitrite is converted into dinitrogen by n-DAMO bacteria and by Anammox bacteria with nitrate as a byproduct; methane is used by n-DAMO archaea to denitrify nitrate into nitrite, which is subsequently removed by Anammox and n-DAMO bacteria.

Funding

  • Urban Utilities
  • SA Water
  • Melbourne Water
  • The University of Queensland
  • Queensland Government

Collaborators

  • Urban Utilities

Project Outcomes

  1. Reveal the unique capability of archaea for nitrate-, Fe(III)- and Mn(IV)-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane.
  2. A novel process coupling Anammox and n-DAMO processes in membrane biofilm reactor for nitrogen removal from wastewater and groundwater remediation
  3. A new technology to convert methane to liquid chemicals

Publications

Papers

  • Cai, C., Hu, S., Chen, X., Ni, B.-J., Pu, J. and Yuan, Z. (2018a) Effect of methane partial pressure on the performance of a membrane biofilm reactor coupling methane-dependent denitrification and anammox. Science Of The Total Environment 639, 278-285. (Google scholar: 19)
  • Cai, C., Hu, S., Guo, J., Shi, Y., Xie, G.J. and Yuan, Z. (2015) Nitrate reduction by denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidizing microorganisms can reach a practically useful rate. Water Research 87, 211-217. (Google scholar: 70)
  • Cai, C., Leu, A.O., Xie, G.-J., Guo, J., Feng, Y., Zhao, J.-X., Tyson, G.W., Yuan, Z. and Hu, S. (2018b) A methanotrophic archaeon couples anaerobic oxidation of methane to Fe (III) reduction. The ISME journal, 1. (Google scholar: 78)
  • Cai, C., Shi, Y., Guo, J., Tyson, G.W., Hu, S. and Yuan, Z. (2019) Acetate Production from Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane via Intracellular Storage Compounds. Environmental Science & Technology 53(13), 7371-7379. (Google scholar: 9)
  • Chen, H., Liu, S., Liu, T., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2020) Efficient nitrate removal from synthetic groundwater via in situ utilization of short-chain fatty acids from methane bioconversion. Chemical Engineering Journal, 124594. (Google scholar: 1)
  • Chen, H., Luo, J., Liu, S., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2019) Microbial Methane Conversion to Short-chain Fatty Acids Using Various Electron Acceptors in Membrane Biofilm Reactors. Environmental Science & Technology. (Google scholar: 4)
  • Chen, H., Zhao, L., Hu, S., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2018) High-rate Production of Short-chain Fatty Acids from Methane in a Mixed-culture Membrane Biofilm Reactor. Environmental Science & Technology Letters. (Google scholar: 7)
  • Chen, X., Guo, J., Shi, Y., Hu, S., Yuan, Z. and Ni, B.J. (2014) Modeling of simultaneous anaerobic methane and ammonium oxidation in a membrane biofilm reactor. Environmental Science & Technology 48(16), 9540-9547. (Google scholar: 63)
  • Chen, X., Guo, J., Xie, G.J., Liu, Y., Yuan, Z. and Ni, B.J. (2015) A new approach to simultaneous ammonium and dissolved methane removal from anaerobic digestion liquor: A model-based investigation of feasibility. Water Research 85, 295-303. (Google scholar: 46)
  • Chen, X., Guo, J., Xie, G.J., Yuan, Z. and Ni, B.J. (2016) Achieving complete nitrogen removal by coupling nitritation-anammox and methane-dependent denitrification: A model-based study. Biotechnology And Bioengineering 113(5), 1035-1045. (Google scholar: 20)
  • Haroon, M.F., Hu, S., Shi, Y., Imelfort, M., Keller, J., Hugenholtz, P., Yuan, Z. and Tyson, G.W. (2013) Anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to nitrate reduction in a novel archaeal lineage. Nature 500(7464), 567-570. (Google scholar: 716)
  • Hu, S., Zeng, R.J., Burow, L.C., Lant, P., Keller, J. and Yuan, Z. (2009) Enrichment of denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidizing microorganisms. Environmental Microbiology Reports 1(5), 377-384. (Google scholar: 202)
  • Hu, S., Zeng, R.J., Haroon, M.F., Keller, J., Lant, P.A., Tyson, G.W. and Yuan, Z. (2015) A laboratory investigation of interactions between denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidation (DAMO) and anammox processes in anoxic environments. Sci Rep 5, 8706. (Google scholar: 66)
  • Hu, S., Zeng, R.J., Keller, J., Lant, P.A. and Yuan, Z. (2011) Effect of nitrate and nitrite on the selection of microorganisms in the denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidation process. Environmental Microbiology Reports 3(3), 315-319. (Google scholar: 101)
  • Lai, C.-Y., Song, Y., Wu, M., Lu, X., Wang, Y., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2020) Microbial selenate reduction in membrane biofilm reactors using ethane and propane as electron donors. Water Research, 116008. (Google scholar: 0)
  • Liu, T., Guo, J., Hu, S. and Yuan, Z. (2020a) Model-based investigation of membrane biofilm reactors coupling anammox with nitrite/nitrate-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation. Environment International 137, 105501. (Google scholar: 6)
  • Liu, T., Hu, S. and Guo, J. (2019a) Enhancing mainstream nitrogen removal by employing nitrate/nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation processes. Critical Reviews In Biotechnology 39(5), 732-745. (Google scholar: 26)
  • Liu, T., Hu, S., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2019b) High-level nitrogen removal by simultaneous partial nitritation, anammox and nitrite/nitrate-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation. Water Research 166, 115057. (Google scholar: 16)
  • Liu, T., Khai Lim, Z., Chen, H., Hu, S., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2020b) Temperature-tolerated mainstream nitrogen removal by anammox and nitrite/nitrate-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation in a membrane biofilm reactor. Environmental Science & Technology. (Google scholar: 5)
  • Liu, T., Li, J., Khai Lim, Z., Chen, H., Hu, S., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2020c) Simultaneous removal of dissolved methane and nitrogen from synthetic mainstream anaerobic effluent. Environmental Science & Technology. (Google scholar: 1)
  • Liu, T., Lim, Z.K., Chen, H., Wang, Z., Hu, S., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2020d) Biogas-driven complete nitrogen removal from wastewater generated in side-stream partial nitritation. Science Of The Total Environment, 141153. (Google scholar: 0)
  • Lu, P., Liu, T., Ni, B.J., Guo, J., Yuan, Z. and Hu, S. (2019) Growth kinetics of Candidatus 'Methanoperedens nitroreducens' enriched in a laboratory reactor. Science Of The Total Environment 659, 442-450. (Google scholar: 19)
  • Luo, J.-H., Chen, H., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2018a) Methane-supported nitrate removal from groundwater in a membrane biofilm reactor. Water Research 132, 71-78. (Google scholar: 41)
  • Luo, J.-H., Wu, M., Liu, J., Qian, G., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2019) Microbial chromate reduction coupled with anaerobic oxidation of methane in a membrane biofilm reactor. Environment International 130, 104926. (Google scholar: 5)
  • Luo, J.-H., Wu, M., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2017) Biological bromate reduction driven by methane in a membrane biofilm reactor. Environmental Science & Technology Letters 4(12), 562-566. (Google scholar: 32)
  • Luo, J.H., Chen, H., Hu, S., Cai, C., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2018b) Microbial Selenate Reduction Driven by a Denitrifying Anaerobic Methane Oxidation Biofilm. Environmental Science & Technology 52(7), 4006-4012. (Google scholar: 43)
  • Qi, X., Carberry, D.M., Cai, C., Hu, S., Yuan, Z., Dunlop, H.R. and Guo, J. (2017) Optical sorting and cultivation of denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidation archaea. Biomed Opt Express 8(2), 934-942. (Google scholar: 7)
  • Shi, Y., Hu, S., Lou, J., Lu, P., Keller, J. and Yuan, Z. (2013) Nitrogen removal from wastewater by coupling anammox and methane-dependent denitrification in a membrane biofilm reactor. Environmental Science & Technology 47(20), 11577-11583. (Google scholar: 160)
  • Wu, M., Luo, J.-H., Hu, S., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2019) Perchlorate bio-reduction in a methane-based membrane biofilm reactor in the presence and absence of oxygen. Water Research 157, 572-578. (Google scholar: 8)
  • Xie, G.-J., Liu, T., Cai, C., Hu, S. and Yuan, Z. (2018) Achieving high-level nitrogen removal in mainstream by coupling anammox with denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidation in a membrane biofilm reactor. Water Research 131, 196-204. (Google scholar: 70)
  • Xie, G.J., Cai, C., Hu, S. and Yuan, Z. (2017) Complete Nitrogen Removal from Synthetic Anaerobic Sludge Digestion Liquor through Integrating Anammox and Denitrifying Anaerobic Methane Oxidation in a Membrane Biofilm Reactor. Environmental Science & Technology 51(2), 819-827. (Google scholar: 66)
  • Xu, S., Cai, C., Guo, J., Lu, W., Yuan, Z. and Hu, S. (2018) Different clusters of Candidatus ‘Methanoperedens nitroreducens’-like archaea as revealed by high-throughput sequencing with new primers. Scientific Reports 8(1), 7695. (Google scholar: 7)
  • Zhang, X., Xia, J., Pu, J., Cai, C., Tyson, G.W., Yuan, Z. and Hu, S. (2019) Biochar-Mediated Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane. Environmental Science & Technology. (Google scholar: 13)

Conference proceedings

  1. Shi Y, Hu S, Lou J, Lu P, Keller J, Yuan Z. Demonstration of nitrogen removal from wastewater by coupling anammox and methane-dependent denitrification in a membrane biofilm reactor. IWA Nutrient Removal and Recovery, September 2012. Harbin, China
  2. Chen X, Guo J, Xie GJ, Yuan Z, Ni BJ. Model-based evaluation of complete nitrogen removal through coupling nitritation-Anammox and DAMO. 9th IWA Symposium on Systems Analysis and Integrated Assessment. Gold Coast, Australia. 2015, Oral Presentation
  3. Liu, T., Hu, S., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2018) Modelling membrane biofilm reactors coupling anammox with denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidation. Oral presentation (one of twelve) at Water Resource Recovery modelling seminar (WRRmod 2018), Quebec, Canada, April 2018
  4. Liu, T., Hu, S., Yuan, Z. and Guo, J. (2018) A novel technology to achieve high-level nitrogen removal from mainstream and sidestream by employing anammox and methane-dependent denitrification processes. Oral presentation at Nutrient Removal and Recovery (NRR) conference, Brisbane, Australia, October 2018
  5. Lim, Z. K., Liu, T., Guo, J.,Yuan, Z. and Hu, S. (2020) Versatility of nitrite/nitrate-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (n-DAMO): demonstration in real wastewater. Oral presentation at Nutrient Removal and Recovery (NRR) conference, Helsinki, Finland, September 2020

Thesis

  1. Ying Shi. Understanding and Application of the Denitrifying Anaerobic Methane Oxidation (DAMO) Process. 2014, The University of Queensland
  2. Chen, X. Understanding and modeling the microbial interactions in a novel nitrogen removal process. 2017, The University of Queensland
  3. Chen Cai. Fundamental and applied aspects of nitrate-, Fe(III)- and Mn(IV)-dependent anaerobic oxidation of methane. 2017, The University of Queensland
  4. Tao Liu. Exploring versatile applications of nitrite/nitrate-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation through modelling and experimental investigations. 2020, The University of Queensland
  5. Jiaoyang Pu. Enrichment and characterisation of novel microorganisms involved in the nitrogen cycle. 2020, The University of Queensland

Project members

Associate Professor Jianhua Guo

UQ Amp Fellow & Affi Asso Professor
Australian Centre for Water and Environmental Biotechnology

Associate Professor Shihu Hu

UQ Amplify Researcher
Australian Centre for Water and Environmental Biotechnology

Dr Tao Liu

Research Fellow/Senior Research off
Australian Centre for Water and Environmental Biotechnology

Mr Joshua Frank

Research Scholar

Dr Mengxiong Wu

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Australian Centre for Water and Environmental Biotechnology

Dr Xueqin Zhang

Postdoctoral Research Fellow/Resear
Australian Centre for Water and Environmental Biotechnology

Other members

  • Dr Chen Cai
  • Mr Zhuan Khai Lim