Simultaneous biogas upgrading and single cell protein production using hydrogen oxidizing bacteria

Rui Li, Yu Feng Jiang, Jie Hua Huang, Kai Luo, Xiao Lei Fan, Rong Bo Guo, Tao Liu, Yi Feng Zhang, Shan Fei Fu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


CO2, a primary byproduct of anaerobic digestion, significantly reduces the calorific value of biogas, necessitating its enhancement through biogas upgrading to increase the CH4 content. The hydrogen oxidizing bacteria (HOB) Cupriavidus necator H16 demonstrates potential as a candidate for biological biogas upgrading due to its efficient CO2 capture and biosynthesis capabilities. Results indicated that in batch experiments, the concentration of CH4 could be elevated from 57.09 % to 98.46 % within 72 h by HOB, with a maximum CO2 assimilation efficiency of 27 mL/(L·h), meeting the requirements for biomethane. In bioreactor scale-up experiments, the CH4 concentration was increased to 94.22 % within 96 h. Beyond biogas upgrading, HOB also produces biomass usable as single cell protein (SCP), with its protein content varying between 43.75–70.83 % depending on the gas supply ratio. A total of 17 amino acids were identified, including eight essential amino acids. The Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) indicated that the essential amino acid content in the HOB-based protein was well-balanced, closely approximating the quality of fishmeal and pork. A techno-economic analysis revealed that the net revenue from the anaerobic digestion process could be enhanced by 48.49 % using HOB-based biogas upgrading. In contrast, biogas upgrading processes based on hydrogenotrophic methanogens (HM) resulted in a 57 % reduction in net revenue. This study establishes a carbon flow pathway from organic solid waste to biomethane and utilizable protein sources, facilitating sustainable nutrient recovery. This approach not only enhances economic benefits but also reduces carbon emissions associated with the anaerobic digestion process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151576
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2024


  • Biogas upgrading
  • Hydrogen oxidizing bacteria
  • Protein digestibility corrected amino acid score
  • Single cell protein
  • Techno-economic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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