The metamorphosis of methane: microbes turn greenhouse gas into fuel
Climate Change Methane Bacteria

The metamorphosis of methane: microbes turn greenhouse gas into fuel

Dr. Lindy Whitehouse
Dr. Lindy Whitehouse

In 10 seconds? Scientists have discovered a way that could help convert methane into methanol, reducing the levels of the potent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. The discovery identifies an enzyme ‘living ‘in bacteria that is crucial in the process of turning methane into a useful product.

What’s the breakthrough? Scientists have known for a while that certain bacteria ‘eat’ methane and convert it into methanol but could not crack the enigma of this process. As methane is a major driver of climate change and levels in the atmosphere have been increasing for years, the knowledge would be invaluable to us to ramp up methane conversion on an industrial scale. In this study, the scientists identified an enzyme called particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) that breaks the strong bond in methane getting us one step closer the be able to produce clean fuel from methane.

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