From: Monash University
Published August 30, 2017 11:54 AM

Researchers tackle methane emissions with gas-guzzling bacteria

An international research team co-led by a Monash biologist has shown that methane-oxidising bacteria – key organisms responsible for greenhouse gas mitigation – are more flexible and resilient than previously thought.

Soil bacteria that oxidise methane (methanotrophs) are globally important in capturing methane before it enters the atmosphere, and we now know that they can consume hydrogen gas to enhance their growth and survival.

This new research, published in the prestigious International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal, has major implications for greenhouse gas mitigation. Industrial companies are using methanotrophs to convert methane gas emissions into useful products, for example liquid fuels and protein feeds.

“The findings of this research explain why methanotrophs are abundant in soil ecosystems,” said Dr Chris Greening from the Centre for Geometric Biology at Monash University.

“Methane is a challenging energy source to assimilate.

Continue reading at Monash University

Photo: The sampling site used to isolate the methanotroph, namely a geothermal field in Rotokawa, New Zealand.

Photo credit: Dr Carlo Carere (GNS Science)

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