Replacing Natural Gas by Biogas — Determining the Bacterial Contamination of Biogas by PCR

Jiřina Čermáková, Jakub Mrázek, Kateřina Fliegerová, Daniel Tenkrát


A promising way of using biogas is to upgrade it to natural gas, which is referred to as Substitute Natural Gas (SNG) or biomethane. Biomethane, or biogas, is produced by biological processes of harnessing the ability of microorganisms to degrade organic material to methane. Some of the microorganisms are aerosolized from the digester into the biogas; afterwards a bio-film is formed that attaches to the surfaces of the distribution pipes, and can find it was to the place where the end use of biogas takes place. This paper deals with the detection of microbial species in biogas, their influenceon corrosion and the potential risk that diseases can be spread via biogas using molecular techniques. Using molecular methods, we found that raw biogas contains about 8 million microorganisms per m3, which is most likely the result of microbial transmission from the anaerobic digestion process. Some bacterial species may contribute to the corrosion of pipelines and equipment; others are opportunistic pathogens that can cause toxic reactions. However, most bacterial species, more than 40 % in biogas, are still unknown, as is their influence on the digestion process and on human health. Further studies are needed to better understand the behavior of microorganisms in anaerobic digestion and to preventmicrobial-influenced corrosion and microbial dissemination.


biomethane; PCR; microorganisms

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague