Microbes That Clean Methane

Microbes That Clean Methane

By Shinji Tutoru

PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY, PENNSYLVANIA, USA & STANFORD UNIVERSITY, CALIFORNIA, USA. Methanogens are microbes that can convert electricity into methane gas can be a vital wellspring of clean and renewable energy. This could transform clean electricity from nuclear, solar and wind power into renewable methane fuel. Also, it could include other precious chemical compounds.

Fossil fuel is the major source of methane. For those who do not know, methane is twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide. The main goal is to build a huge microbial factory that will transform clean electricity from other known sources of power into renewable methane fuel. Ultimately, the goal is to create a cost-effective system that is reliale in producing methane from clean electrical energy.

Typical natural gas combustion results to global warming. When microbial methane is burnt as fuel, the released carbon dioxide would only be recycled back into the atmosphere. In this casem it is very useful in fueling vehicles, ships and airplanes. Ideally, various cultures of methanogens will be fed with a constant supply of electrons that will be generated from emission-free power sources. The microbes will then use those clean electrons in metabolizing carbon dioxide into methane. They will be stockpiled and distributed through existing pipeline and natural gas facilities.

In concept, the process looks simple and doable. For this to be commercially attainable, a good solution must be found when methanogens become inefficient when they are separated from other microbial species.

Invention Methanogens
Organization Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA & Stanford University, California, USA
Researcher PSU & Stanford University Researchers
Field(s) Chemical Engineering, Green Technology, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Wind Power, Nuclear Power
Further Information Stanford University News

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