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Evaluation of methyl fluoride and dimethyl ether as inhibitors of aerobic methane oxidation

January 1, 1992

Methyl fluoride (MF) and dimethyl ether (DME) were effective inhibitors of aerobic methanotrophy in a variety of soils. MF and DME blocked consumption of CH4 as well as the oxidation of 14CH4 to 14CO2, but neither MF nor DME affected the oxidation of [14C]methanol or [14C]formate to 14CO2. Cooxidation of ethane and propane by methane-oxidizing soils was also inhibited by MF. Nitrification (ammonia oxidation) in soils was inhibited by both MF and DME. Production of N2O via nitrification was inhibited by MF; however, MF did not affect N2O production associated with denitrification. Methanogenesis was partially inhibited by MF but not by DME. Methane oxidation was ~100-fold more sensitive to MF than was methanogenesis, indicating that an optimum concentration could be employed to selectively block methanotrophy. MF inhibited methane oxidation by cell suspensions of Methylococcus capsulatus; however, DME was a much less effective inhibitor.

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