Biotreatment of coals and coal‐related compounds by hydrogen‐utilizing microorganisms

Mangena V.S. Murty, Muhammad I.H. Aleem, Richard I. Kermode, Dibakar Bhattacharyya

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3 Scopus citations


Desulfovibrio desulfuricans and Acidianus brierleyi were used to study hydrogenation of coal, pretreated coal, asphaltenes, and model compounds [diphenyl methane (DPM) and fumarate] under anaerobic conditions. This study involved three primary aspects: (1) determination of net hydrogen‐uptake, (2) identification of the biohydrogenated product of fumarate, and (3) testing the influence of hydrogen uptake/biohydrogenation of coal in terms of direct liquefaction yield. The net hydrogen uptake values (from Warburg and GC assays) by the coals or the model compounds (controls) were less than that of the biotreated samples. The greated hydrogen uptake (net, 1878 μmol g−1; coal control, 245; cell control, 127) occurred in untreated coal KCER No. 4677 in the presence of D. desulfuricans. The net hydrogen uptake by coals varied depending upon the coal type and the microorganism. Model compound DPM showed its highest hydrogen uptake rate when catalysed by D. desulfuricans (150 μmol g−1 h−1). D. desulfuricans also hydrogenated 36% of the fumarate to succinate in the presence of hydrogen. Biotrated coal KCER No. 4677 (with 1878 μmol H2 g−1) was subsequently subjected to direct liquefaction. It showed a net increase in liquefaction yield of 5·4% as a result of the biotreament.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-367
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1994


  • anearobic
  • coal
  • hydrogen uptake
  • hydrogenation
  • liquefaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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