Pytlak A., Szafranek-Nakonieczna A., Sujak A., Grządziel J., Polakowski C., Kuźniar A., Proc K., Kubaczyński A., Goraj W., Gałązka A., Gruszecki W.I., Bieganowski A., Stępniewska Z. (2020): Stimulation of methanogenesis in bituminous coal from the upper Silesian coal basin. International Journal of Coal Geology, 231, 103609 (140 pkt. MNiSW, IF = 5.692)
Biological methane production from coal seams through their biological conversion is one of the methods that have been postulated to utilize unmineable resources. Furthermore, energy production from methane is considered less environmentally-harmful than the combustion of coal. In the current study, meta-bituminous coal extracted from the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB) was investigated in terms of its potential for biological methane formation. Both natural and stimulated (by bioaugmentation) methanogenic activity was assayed. Consortia of microorganisms selected from highly methanogenic peat (Moszne peat bog) and sediments (Szczecin subsidence reservoir) were enriched on various media and used for coal bioaugmentation. It was found that both peat- and sediment-derived microbiota are capable of coal degradation, with the latter being more effective. FT-IR revealed changes in the utilization patterns of organic matter by each community that were linked to differences in the stable carbon isotope indices of the gases produced. The ability to cleave aromatic rings was recognized as the most important feature of the microbial community used in the production of methane from the tested coal.