Bioconversion of wastewater to single cell protein by methanotrophic bacteria

Xiao Zha, Panagiotis Tsapekos*, Xinyu Zhu, Benyamin Khoshnevisan, Xiwu Lu, Irini Angelidaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Single cell protein (SCP) provides an alternative protein source to partially replace the conventional agricultural resources and support the increased nutritional needs. Inexpensive feeding source is one of the key limiting factors for the expansion of SCP production. The present study examined the valorization of biogas derived from the anaerobic digestion (AD) of sewage sludge and the discarded effluent as nutrients source to produce SCP using methanotrophic bacteria. Results indicated that the mixed methanotrophic culture can grow well on the pasteurized AD supernatant and biogas, succeeding in promising dry weight (DW) yield (0.66 ± 0.01 g-DW/g-CH4 and 11.54 ± 0.12 g-DW/g-NH4+). Methylomonas (56.26%) and Methylophilus (24.60%) spp. were the two main representatives of the mixed culture. The produced dried biomass had a protein content higher than 41% w/w, including essential amino acids like histidine, valine, phenylalanine, isoleucine, leucine, threonine and lysine. The cultivated SCP shows potential utilization as protein source for animal diets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124351
JournalBioresource Technology
Issue numberPt. A
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the FUBAF project financed by the Danish EPA - MUDP ( Mst-11700508). Xiao Zha would like to thank for the financial support from China Scholarship Council.


  • 16S rRNA
  • Digested sludge
  • Methanotrophic bacteria
  • Single cell protein
  • Wastewater


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