Nanoparticles in Methane Production from Anaerobic Digesters: Advantages, Challenges and Perspectives


Efraín Reyes Cruz, Lilia Ernestina Montañez Hernández, Inty Omar Hernández De Lira, Nagamani Balagurusamy*

Laboratorio de Bioremediación, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Torreón, C.P. 27000, Coahuila, México. *Corresponding author;

In: Nanobiotechnology for Sustainable Bioenergy and Biofuel Production. (Ed.) Madan L. Verma, CRC Press, Boca Raton, USA. (ISBN: 9780367085872)

The development of new strategies to improve the obtention of sustainable energy with organic wastes by anaerobic digestion, and the rising benefits by nanotechnology application, has led researchers to combine both strategies. Thus, nanoparticles are used in anaerobic reactors with the aim to enhance the production of biogas and its methane content, coupled with a higher degradation of the substrate. However, due to the extensive list of compounds that can be applied and the variety of conditions for this process, not only positive effects have been triggered. It is even possible to get to the point of considering that their application isn’t suitable for this technology. Therefore, it is important to expand the knowledge of the advantages that nanoparticles offer in a broad manner without neglecting other possible scenarios. This chapter presents and discusses examples that explain either positive or negative effects of nanoparticles application in anaerobic digestion, along with the description of their possible mechanisms. In addition, the presence of microbial communities and their changes due to their interaction with nanoparticles is also described.