Using microbes to store renewable electricity – biological Power-to-Gas strategy

PhD defence, Friday 14 December 2018. Laura M. Agneessens.

2018.12.14 | Maia Høyer Monod

Laura M. Agneessens

During her studies, Laura Agneessens investigated the microbial conversion of hydrogen (H2) to renewable methane (CH4), a flexible and easy-to-store energy carrier. The share of renewable power production from wind and solar sources is growing significantly in recent years, but their fluctuating production increases the need for energy storage. Renewable electricity in the form of H2 may be supplied to a biogas reactor at times of high electricity production and low demand. The microbial community of a biogas reactor combines H2 and carbon dioxide (CO2) to the easy-to-store CH4, which can be injected in the natural gas grid or used as a green transport fuel.

Addition of H2 however disturbs the biochemical equilibria of a biogas reactor, and ensuring stable reactor performance is a key criterion for successful implementation. The research findings gained during this PhD increase the understanding of the processes taking place during H2 addition to a biogas reactor, and contribute to knowledge-based steering of biological Power-to-Gas.

The PhD degree was completed at the Department of Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday, 14 December 2018 at 13:00
Place: Building 5125 (Eddison), room 114, Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, Finlandsgade 22, 8200 Aarhus N
Title of PhD thesis: The Power of the Small: Microbial Conversion of Hydrogen to Methane
Contact information: Laura M. Agneessens, e-mail:
Members of the assessment committee:
Professor Francesca Malpei, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Professor Anna Schnürer, Department of Molecular Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
Professor Anders Bentien (chair), Department Engineering, Aarhus University
Main supervisor:
Professor Lars D.M. Ottosen, Department of Engineering, Aarhus University
Researcher Michael V.W. Kofoed, Department of Engineering, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520 and 1521, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
12183 / i43