Microbiologists from Radboud University in Nijmegen have succeeded in getting bacteria to break down methane from a greenhouse gas and generate electricity at the same time. A promising technology that could be interesting in the future to achieve climate goals.
Scientists made the bacterial species Candidatus Methanoperedens part of a type of battery. “We let the bacteria grow on an electrode on one side, where they release electrons through methane conversion,” says researcher Helen Oupter.
The bacteria occur naturally in fresh water. “Bacteria thrive especially in sites in the Netherlands where surface and ground water are polluted with nitrogen, because they need nitrate to break down methane.”
In the lab, they were able to convert 31 percent of methane into electricity. More research is needed to improve the system and make it more efficient. Hopefully the application will take shape on an industrial scale in the future. Or, as the university concludes: “Generating electricity and purifying the environment immediately from greenhouse gases: it should be possible with bacteria.”sources): RTL News
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