Every year, people around the world produce billions of tons of solid waste. About 70% of this flight will be landed in the archipelago, where it will slowly sink. However, what is thought to be an inert collection of unwanted waste is, in fact, a complex ecosystem, full of microbial activity. Large communities of microorganisms feed on waste, converting it into products – carbon dioxide (CO).2) and methane.
Although most of the island’s methane is captured and burned, the researchers plan to use this resource, which can be converted into fuel, electricity and used to heat homes (see below). ).
In a recent study published in the journal Used and Environmental Microbiology, lead author Mark Reynolds, and his Arizona State University and colleagues, explore these microbial communities that grow in leachate, a water that flows through solid waste into a country. They found that the composition and nature of the specific microbes found in arid lands, such as those in Arizona, vary from communities to lower elevations and higher temperatures. Microbial composition also varies depending on the age of the archives.
The project took place at the Salt River Landfill in Scottsdale, near ASU’s Tempe campus. The plant receives about 1,600 tons of domestic waste per day.
Solid rubbish: A break
The study found that the microbial level of the ecosystem is linked to leachate. Different environmental conditions apply to microbial niches that are spread across 143 acres of land.
“I think of an island as a major carbon dioxide for these microorganisms,” said Reynolds, a researcher at the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology. “Our waste is mostly paper-heavy and is a real asset to cellulose and hemicellulose. These can be degraded under anaerobic (oxygen-free) conditions.”
Capturing and using the gases produced in the islands can help reduce the risks associated with land emissions, and prevent methane from escaping. In the air. In addition, energy projects related to the capture and treatment of landfill gas can generate revenue and create jobs in the community.
By better understanding the nature of these methane -producing microorganisms, the researchers hope to improve the capture of this important resource or limit the escape of methane and CO.2—Two powerful greenhouse gases and major contributors to climate change – in the air.
“We’re diving into ecological thinking to try to get to the root of what drives the regulatory systems of methane producers,” Reynolds said. A multifaceted analysis of the study of temperature and solvents reveals that the two critical components drive their size and change. This is good news, because this data is always held at standard methane sites on a monthly basis and can provide accurate diagnostics – evidence -based indicators of the broad spectrum of total methane production.
From garbage to firewood
Methane emissions will account for more than 15% in 2019, representing the third largest cause of global methane emissions. According to the study, the emission of methane from the islands is equivalent to one billion tons of CO.2or the demolition of the museum, which was created by nearly 22 million cars driven for a year.
Typically, most of the methane released by microorganisms into a landfill, is captured as biogas and then burned, to convert it into CO.2. While this approach limits the harmful effects of methane itself, it has a short -term and unsatisfactory effect on the problem of green gas emissions from the islands.
In addition to its negative impact on the climate, the lost methane represents a lost time to capture this valuable resource. The study estimates that about one -fifth of the country’s islands would be suitable for capture and exploitation, if problems and other problems could be addressed.
Currently, microorganisms that degrade local waste emit landfill gas containing about 50% methane and 50% CO.2. By recognizing the simple action of these microorganisms – i.e., methanogenic Archaea, which are the natural agents in the methane production cycle – the researchers hope to increase methane emissions.
The added methane can be collected and used to make electricity, carbon -free fuels or to power buildings. The latter option is better because it does not require methane recycling. Alternatively, modification of microbial communities can be used to limit the release of methane, where mitigation is required.
In search of Archaea
The Landfill provides an ideal setting for the detailed research of Archaea, a culturally complex in the construction industry. About 80% of the archaea difference is not widely observed. “Our labs need methanogens a lot because of the same metabolism they do in wetlands, where they become the highest source of methane, or the human gut. , they make lands, ”Reynolds said.
Because methanogens are primary, single-celled organisms, they can be used equally in plant, food, or paper products. Although the study found different types of methane in their dry land area compared to other regions, different communities of methanogens are doing the heavy lifting. The study shows that the microbial nature depends on the age of the solid waste deposited. Young rubbish has a higher level of heat than old rubbish and is lower in temperature according to different types. Drought has been shown to significantly affect the breakdown of solid waste over time.
“There’s a process of rehabilitation and reorganization of these dry climate microbes in landfills,” Reynolds said. Future research will begin to explain the differences between these communities in relation to their humble and lowly peers.
Further research will explore microbial landfill communities using biostimulants or other technologies that can be used to convert methane production.
Developing measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the islands
Mark C. Reynolds et al, describing the drivers and function of methanogenic niches in a dry land, Used and Environmental Microbiology (2022). DOI: 10.1128 / aem.02438-21
Presented by Arizona State University
Directions: Methane should not be eliminated from waste: Exploring the Earth’s Ecosystems (2022, April 15) Retrieved 15 April 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-04-methane -exploring-landfill-ecosystems.html
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