Research Group




Research Interests

         Bioconversion of coal to methane

Bioconversion of coal to methane

This research is aimed at identifying microbial consortia that utilize coal as an organic substrate, producing methane in the process. Methane burns cleaner than coal, and is readily transported and distributed via pipeline. PhD candidate Sam Papendick is using anaerobic culturing techniques to enrich for methanogens from Australian gas wells. MS candidate Sam Lane is evaluating above ground bioreactors that can utilize coal wastes.

Recent publications:

Papendick, S.L., K.R. Downs, K.D. Vo, S.K. Hamilton, G.K.W. Dawson, S.D. Golding, and P.C. Gilcrease (2011). Biogenic methane potential for Surat Basin, Queensland coal seams. International Journal of Coal Geology, 88:123-134.

Green, M.S., K.C. Flanegan, and P.C. Gilcrease (2008).  Characterization of a methanogenic consortium enriched from a coalbed methane well in the Powder River Basin, U.S.A.  International Journal of Coal Geology, 76:34-45.

Gilcrease, P.C. and G.W. Shurr (2007).  Making microbial methane work: The potential for new biogenic gas. World Oil, Vol. 228 No. 11 p. 37