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Methanogens are stringent anaerobes that obtain energy by oxidizing compounds such as H2, CO2, formate, acetate, methanol and other compounds to either methane or methane or CO2.

Methanogens thrive in anaerobic habitats rich in organic matter. These include fresh and marine water sediments, marshes, swamps, lake and pond mud, hot water springs, rumen of cattle, intestinal tract of humans and animals, anaerobic sludge digesters in sewage treatment plants and even within anaerobic protozoa.