EESS talk on "Microbial reduction of nitrous oxide: a decade of ecophysiological investigation and development into a viable greenhouse-gas removal technology"


Event details

Date 17.10.2023
Hour 12:1513:15
Speaker Professor Sukhwan Yoon, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST)
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English
Since the first reports of the genomic and physiological evidence of the novel nosZ clade, now termed nosZ clade II, microbial reduction of nitrous oxide (N2O) has attracted many in search of environmental technology for mitigation of emission of this potent greenhouse gas. Beginning with the breakthrough
discovery revealing that certain subgroups of clade II nosZ-possessing organisms have a distinguished ability to consume submicromolar N2O for utilization as the electron acceptor, we, the past and present members of Environmental Microbiology Laboratory at KAIST, have made substantial contributions in
advancing the physiological and genomic understanding of N2O reduction, especially pertaining to biological nitrogen removal (BNR) processes in the wastewater sector and nitrogen management of agricultural soils. We have verified, via two disparate avenues of approach, that the clade II nosZ
dominate both gene and transcript pools of nosZ in activated sludge microbiomes. In a subsequent study combining culture-based experiments with computational analyses of metagenomes and metatranscriptomes, we have verified that nanomolar N2O consumption can occur in a sustainable
manner in microoxic environments and also that the key players belong to the close relatives of the genera Dechloromonas and Azospira, the organisms presumed to be high-affinity N2O-reducing organisms. Additionally, we have applied these new scientific insights in developing a self-sustaining N2O
biofiltration system, which can be implemented as a practical addendum to any BNR systems with minimal alterations to the plant designs. The presentation will provide a brief summary of these scientific and technological progresses we have contributed to the field over the past decade, as well as an introduction of the overarching research direction and long-term plans and objectives of our laboratory.

Short biography:
Prof. Sukhwan Yoon is an Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. He
acquired his B.S. degree in Civil, Urban, and Geosystems Engineering from Seoul National University Technology, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan (2008 and 2010, respectively). Before joining KAIST as an assistant professor in 2014, he was a postdoctoral research associate at Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology (2010-11) and at University of Tennessee (2011-14). He currently leads the Environmental Microbiology Laboratory (EML). The research group focuses on understanding and harnessing microbial reactions to seek solutions to various environmental and sustainability problems, which include, but is not limited to environmental greenhouse gas emissions. He is currently serving as an associate editor for the Frontiers in Microbiology journal and is a member of Y-KAST (Young Korean Academy of Science and Technology), an honorable society of ~200 young Korean scientists across all disciplines of science and technology

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free
  • This event is internal


  • EESS - IIE



Environmental microbiology environmental biotechnology greenhouse gases ecophysiology biogeochemistry metaomics