Scientists use bacteria to turn methane into electricity

(ORDO NEWS) — For solving the climate problems of the planet, it is likely that they will give the Nobel Prize. Researchers from Holland are one step closer to the award.

A group of microbiologists from the Netherlands has discovered an unobvious ability of the bacterium Candidatus Methanoperedens. It turned out that the bacterium is able to convert methane into electricity.

With the help of bacteria, the researchers were able to convert 31% of the harmful gas into electrical energy. In the future, scientists say, it is planned to increase the efficiency of the technology.

Scientists use bacteria to turn methane into electricity 2

What is the characteristic of a bacterium

Candidatus Methanoperedens habitually live in fresh water: ditches or lakes. Methane, on the other hand, is not harmful to them, but on the contrary, it is required for growth.

Bacteria require nitrogen to break down methane, so Candidatus Methanoperedens thrives in nitrogen-polluted groundwater.

At first, researchers from Holland were only interested in the transformation processes within the microorganism. But later, scientists decided on a more interesting experiment.

The study showed

Dutch microbiologists have created something like a battery with two “terminals”: one of them is biological, and the other is chemical.

Candidatus Methanoperedens was grown on one of the electrodes, where the bacteria began to donate electrons, which appeared due to the splitting of methane.

Thus, it was possible to achieve the conversion of 31% of the generated methane into electricity. “This could turn out to be very beneficial for the human energy sector and the environment in general.

In plants like ours, methane is produced by microorganisms and then burned, which drives the main turbine of the mechanism,” explained study co-author Cornelia Welte .

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