Methanotrophs and methanotrophic activity in engineered landfill biocovers
Ait-Benichou, Samah; Jugnia, Louis-B.; Greer, Charles W.; Cabral, Alexandre
Abstract: The dynamics and changes in the potential activity and community structure of methanotrophs in landfill covers, as a function of time and depth were investigated. A passive methane oxidation biocover (PMOB-1) was constructed in St-Nicéphore MSW Landfill (Quebec, Canada). The most probable number (MPN) method was used for methanotroph counts, methanotrophic diversity was assessed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting of the pmoA gene and the potential CH(4) oxidation rate was determined using soil microcosms. Results of the PMOB-1 were compared with those obtained for the existing landfill cover (silty clay) or a reference soil (RS). During the monitoring period, changes in the number of methanotrophic bacteria in the PMOB-1 exhibited different developmental phases and significant variations with depth. In comparison, no observable changes over time occurred in the number of methanotrophs in the RS. The maximum counts measured in the uppermost layer was 1.5x10(9) cells g dw(-1) for the PMOB-1 and 1.6x10(8) cells g dw(-1) for the RS. No distinct difference was observed in the methanotroph diversity in the PMOB-1 or RS. As expected, the potential methane oxidation rate was higher in the PMOB-1 than in the RS. The maximum potential rates were 441.1 and 76.0 microg CH(4) h(-1) g dw(-1) in the PMOB and RS, respectively. From these results, the PMOB was found to be a good technology to enhance methane oxidation, as its performance was clearly better than the starting soil that was present in the landfill site.
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