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Title: Modeling Biodegradation and Methane Biogenesis

Abstract: Heterotrophic bacteria are primarily responsible for the decomposition of organic matter in many environments. In this talk, I will present multiple stoichiometric biodegradation models. As an important application, I will talk about the extension and data validation of our stoichiometric biodegradation models for predicting methane emissions from oil sands tailings in Alberta.

Microbial metabolism of fugitive hydrocarbons produces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from oil sands tailings ponds and end pit lakes that retain semisolid wastes from surface mining of oil sands ores. Predicting GHG production, particularly methane, would help oil sands operators mitigate tailings emissions and would assist regulators in evaluating the trajectory of reclamation scenarios.