Bacteria emit electricity from methane


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Power generation and cleaning up the environment of green gases can be accomplished with the use of bacteria. In a new paper, microbiologists from Radboud University have shown that bacteria can use methane to create power in the lab. The article will be published at Limitations in Microbiology on the 12th of April.

The bacterium, Candidatus methanoperedens, uses methane to grow and thrive naturally in fresh water such as canals and ponds. In the Netherlands, bacteria thrive in areas where the skin and soil water are contaminated with nitrogen, because they need nitrate to break down methane.

The researchers first wanted to know more about the changes that take place in the microorganism. In addition, they sought to see if it could be used to create power. “This is very important for the energy sector,” says microbiologist and author Cornelia Welte. “In current biogas systems, methane is made by microorganisms and then burned, which drives the turbine, thus generating power. Not less than half of the biogas is converted. “We want to evaluate if we can do better with the use of microorganisms.”

It’s kind of a table

Fellow microbiologists from Nijmegen have previously shown that power can be generated by using anammox bacteria that use ammonium during the process rather than methane. “The process in these bacteria is very similar,” says microbiologist Heleen Ouboter. “We’re making a kind of table with two pieces, one of which is an organism and the other is a chemical box. We grow the bacteria on one of the electrodes, where the bacteria give the bacteria. electrons due to the conversion of methane. “

In this way, researchers can convert 31 percent of methane into electricity, but they want higher technologies. “We will continue to focus on improving the system,” Welte said.

Microbes reduce the methane coming from Amsterdam’s rivers

More information:
Heleen T. Ouboter et al, Methane-Dependent Extracellular Electron Transfer at the Bioanode by the Anaerobic Archaeal Methanotroph “Candidatus Methanoperedens”, Limitations in Microbiology (2022). DOI: 10.3389 / fmicb.2022.820989

Presented by Radboud University Nijmegen

Directions: Bacteria emit electricity from methane (2022, April 12) Retrieved 13 April 2022 from

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