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Methane-Eating Bacteria: Climate Impact



  Apr 11, 2024

Methane-Eating Bacteria: Climate Impact



What is Methylotuvimicrobium buryatense 5GB1C?

Methylotuvimicrobium buryatense 5GB1C is a bacterial strain capable of consuming methane, a greenhouse gas significantly more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its global warming potential. This bacterium can grow in environments with low methane concentrations, making it a promising tool for reducing methane emissions from sources like landfills, rice paddies, and oil and gas wells.

How does this bacteria help in reducing global warming?

By consuming methane before it escapes into the atmosphere, this bacterial strain can help mitigate one of the key contributors to global warming. The study suggests that employing this bacterium to consume methane could potentially reduce global average temperature rise by 0.21-0.22 degrees Celsius by 2050.

Can this bacteria be used everywhere methane is produced?

The bacteria show promise in consuming methane at concentrations as low as 200 parts per million (ppm), making it suitable for various methane emission sites. However, its effectiveness and practical application may vary depending on local conditions such as temperature, which affects bacterial growth.

What are the economic benefits of using this bacteria?

In addition to environmental benefits, the consumption of methane by this bacterium generates biomass that can be utilized as feed in aquaculture. This not only adds value to the process but also provides a sustainable source of feed, with the biomass valued at approximately $1,600 per tonne.

What challenges could be faced in scaling up this technology?

Scaling up the technology to deploy this bacterial strain widely could face several challenges, including maintaining optimal temperature conditions for bacterial growth and ensuring economic feasibility and energy balance in different climates. Further research and field studies are needed to address these challenges and evaluate the technology’s practicality and environmental impact.

The potential of Methylotuvimicrobium buryatense 5GB1C to contribute significantly to the reduction of methane emissions highlights an innovative approach to combating climate change. However, comprehensive studies and strategic implementations are crucial to realizing its full potential.



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