Nitrous Oxide Abatement Coupled with Biopolymer Production As a Model GHG Biorefinery for Cost-Effective Climate Change Mitigation
Frutos, Osvaldo D. ; Cortes, Irene ; Cantera, Sara ; Arnaiz, Esther ; Lebrero, Raquel ; Muñoz, Raúl - \ 2017
Environmental Science and Technology 51 (2017)11. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 6319 - 6325.
N2O represents ∼6% of the global greenhouse gas emission inventory and the most important O3-depleting substance emitted in this 21st century. Despite its environmental relevance, little attention has been given to cost-effective and environmentally friendly N2O abatement methods. Here we examined, the potential of a bubble column (BCR) and an internal loop airlift (ALR) bioreactors of 2.3 L for the abatement of N2O from a nitric acid plant emission. The process was based on the biological reduction of N2O by Paracoccus denitrificans using methanol as a carbon/electron source. Two nitrogen limiting strategies were also tested for the coproduction of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) coupled with N2O reduction. High N2O removal efficiencies (REs) (≈87%) together with a low PHBV cell accumulation were observed in both bioreactors in excess of nitrogen. However, PHBV contents of 38-64% were recorded under N limiting conditions along with N2O-REs of ≈57% and ≈84% in the ALR and BCR, respectively. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analyses showed that P. denitrificans was dominant (>50%) after 6 months of experimentation. The successful abatement of N2O concomitant with PHBV accumulation confirmed the potential of integrating biorefinery concepts into biological gas treatment for a cost-effective GHG mitigation.