Production of hydroxyalkanoate copolymers in gas fermentation of methane with mixed microbial consortia

national science centre

Project is financed by National Science Centre in Poland according to UMO-2019/35/D/ST8/03530 agreement within SONATA15 programme framework

Project summary

Methane is used primarily to provide energy or heat via combustion. A lot of methane is produced from anthropogenic sources, which constitutes 60% of annual global emissions. Increased emissions have negative consequences as methane is a greenhouse gas with approximately 80 times the impact of carbon dioxide. However, methane represents also an enormous resource and can be treated as a platform chemical for conversion into a range of higher value products. This is especially encouraging when methane from sustainable sources like landfills or anaerobic digesters are used or otherwise sources that are not economical to process for conventional heating. These economic incentives and the changing attitude towards sustainable production of both fine and commodity chemicals results in the growing interest in the biological conversion of methane. Potentially, polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) copolymers with desirable properties (such as PHBV copolymer) could be produced from methane as a feedstock. PHA copolymers are recognised as excellent candidates to replace conventional petroleum-derived polymers. The general aim of the project is evaluate the possibility of synthesizing PHA copolymers from methane as a primary substrate via utilization of mixed microbial. Moreover, the objective is to improve knowledge on symbiotic interactions within methanotrophic consortia and investigate underlying mechanisms in PHB synthesis.

2023/09/31 at 8:00 pm

We are happy to share first publication of the results from the project, published in Science of The Total Environment. This is also the second publication from Aleksandra’s PhD research. Congratulations Ola!

In “Enrichment of mixed methanotrophic cultures producing polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from various environmental sources” we show the results of our work on the enrichment of mixedcultures with methanotrophs and evaluate their potential for PHA accumulation. We investigate the effect of different nitrogen sources and methane concentration levels on PHB and PHBV production by enriched methanotrophic cultures.

You can access the article for 50 days here:

2023/11/06 at 9:13 pm

Mateusz presented the latest results from met2pha project on Green Deal Biotechnology conference in Poznań, organized by European Federation of Biotechnology. The meeting brought together scientists and professionals from academia and various sectors of industry sharing the common interest in resource recovery and environmental biotechnology for development of new technologies supporting bioeconomy. 

Aleksandra is visiting University of Alberta, Canada

2023/09/31 at 8:00 pm

Aleksandra is visiting a group of Associate professor Dominic Sauvageau from the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta. The research stay will last for 3-months and the project is co-financed by Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange NAWA within the STER Programme “Internationalisation of doctoral schools”. She aims to investigate biochemical mechanisms behind the production of biopolymers from methane in methanotrophic mixed culture by adopting various omics technologies in a study on a model co-culture of methanotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria! Good luck Ola!