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Argument: Steps can be taken to limit Methane emissions from dam reservoirs

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Tim Hirsch. "Project aims to extract dam methane". BBC. 10 May 2007 - Scientists in Brazil have claimed that a major source of greenhouse gas emissions could be curbed by capturing and burning methane given off by large hydro-electric dams.

The team at the country's National Space Research Institute (INPE) is developing prototype equipment designed to stop the greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere.

The technology will extract the methane from the water to supplement the energy produced by the dam turbines.

The scientists estimate that worldwide the technique could prevent emissions equivalent to more than the total annual burning of fossil fuels in the UK - and reduce the pressure to build new dams in sensitive areas such as the Amazon.


Tim Hirsch. "Project aims to extract dam methane". BBC. 10 May 2007 - "Scientists in Brazil have claimed that a major source of greenhouse gas emissions could be curbed by capturing and burning methane given off by large hydro-electric dams."


"Gas-guzzling bacteria could help fight global warming". Interesting Things. January 2008 - A new species of bacteria discovered living in one of the most extreme environments on Earth could yield a tool in the fight against global warming.

In a paper published today in the prestigious science journal Nature, U of C biology professor Peter Dunfield and colleagues describe the methane-eating microorganism they found in the geothermal field known as Hell’s Gate, near the city of Rotorua in New Zealand. It is the hardiest “methanotrophic” bacterium yet discovered, which makes it a likely candidate for use in reducing methane gas emissions from landfills, mines, industrial wastes, geothermal power plants and other sources.

“This is a really tough methane-consuming organism that lives in a much more acidic environment than any we’ve seen before,” said Dunfield, who is the lead author of the paper. “It belongs to a rather mysterious family of bacteria (called Verrucomicrobia) that are found everywhere but are very difficult to grow in the laboratory.”

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