Methane oxidation and production in heavy-metal contaminated soils


Methane oxidation and production in heavy-metal contaminated soils

Leader: Prof. DSc Andrzej Bieganowski

Team: Prof. DSc Małgorzata Brzezińska; PhD Eng Katarzyna Jaromin-Gleń; PhD Anna Walkiewicz; PhD Cezary Polakowski; MSc Magdalena Koczańska; MSc Eng Ewa Wnuk; MSc Wioleta Stelmach; MSc Adam Kubaczyński


As one of greenhouse gases with 28-fold higher greenhouse gas potential than carbon dioxide, methane plays an important role in nature. While the industrial sources of this gas have been relatively well identified and described, the phenomenon of methane absorption or production by/in soils is not yet fully elucidated, in particular in terms of determination of the impact of environmental status factors and characteristics of the soil ecosystem.


Soils (especially forest soils) are a habitat for   methanotrophic bacteria and play an important role in methane oxidation. Human activity is associated with introduction of various compounds to the soil interacting with processes naturally occurring in the soil. Hence, the process of methane oxidation can be disturbed/modified by the presence of contaminants (e.g. heavy metals). Therefore, the main objective of the task is to determine (in laboratory conditions) whether and, if so, to what extent pollution of soils with different doses of heavy metals (Pb, Cd) affects methane activity (methane oxidation/absorption or production) in mineral soils. The experiments are conducted in soil samples characterised by various moisture levels to emulate conditions prevailing in the environment.