Lakes and other freshwater systems emit large quantities of methane, which is the second most important greenhouse gas worldwide after CO2.
Lakes and other freshwater systems emit large quantities of methane, which is the second most important greenhouse gas worldwide after CO2. Dredging and the use of Phoslock (a phosphate-binding clay particle) can reduce these lake emissions by over 50%. This is the conclusion of a study by Radboud University researchers, published today in Science of The Total Environment.
Methane largely originates in natural systems, with 49% of all emissions coming from freshwater systems. Worldwide methane emissions also continue to increase as a result of global warming and eutrophication (an excess of nutrients in water). Radboud University researchers investigated whether reducing this eutrophication could help curb methane emissions.
Emissions Greatly Reduced
The study used a system of sixteen testing ponds: some of the ponds were dredged, some were treated with Phoslock, and in the last group, both techniques were used. “Dredging sediment from the ponds’ bottom reduced methane emissions by approximately 52%,” says author and Aquatic Ecologist Tom Nijman. “In the ponds where we used Phoslock, emissions were even reduced by 74%.”
Read more at Radboud University Nijmegen
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