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A centrifuge tube reactor for the determination of bacterial methane oxidation enrichment factors without influence of diffusion related isotope fractionation

Schulte, S.M., Jochmann, M.A., Wolbert, J.-B., Gehrke, T., Schmidt, T.C.
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.659 pp. 1382-1386
bacteria, biotransformation, carbon, carbon dioxide, enrichment culture, flow injection analysis, isotope fractionation, landfills, mass spectrometry, methane, methane monooxygenases, methanotrophs, mixing, oxidation, stable isotopes, temperature
Biotransformation of methane at landfill sites can be estimated by applying compound specific stable isotope analysis of methane from the anaerobic and the cover layer surface zone. Next to these two input parameters, merely the knowledge of the carbon isotopic fractionation of the bacterial methane oxidation in terms of the enrichment factor (ε) is required. However, many factors and conditions have been described to affect ε. These include temperature, the applied landfill cover, the type of expressed methane monooxygenase (MMO), and cell density. In this work we investigated the microbial methane oxidation with respect to temperature and type of methanotrophic enrichment culture. A newly designed setup was used to overcome potential CH4-substrate limitations such as diffusion that could affect the determined values of ε by improper and inhomogeneous mixing. The isotopic fractionation was determined based on the stable carbon isotope analysis of methane and carbon dioxide. The obtained value for isotopic fractionation was ε22°C = −0.0136 ± 0.0036. Also for the first time, bulk stable isotope analysis of bacterial cell mass was performed by flow injection analysis isotope ratio mass spectrometry.