Methane is a greenhouse gas but it is not that eco-friendly when used to generate power, though scientists may have found a way to decrease the damage. Penn State researchers have crafted microbial fuel cells that can convert methane into electricity right at the well, without leaking loads of gas into the atmosphere by sending it through pipes. The team created a cocktail of bacteria that includes a synthetic microbe you can’t normally grow that produces the necessary materials to grab and transport electrons from the methane. This is not only a cleaner process but it may also clean up the site while generating power and also run on waste products.
work in progress
This process has not yet reached its prime state so it’s still not ready. Currently, the project only produces a thousandth of the electricity that you'd get from a methanol fuel cell. Click To Tweet Cleanup of methane power is a stopgap solution at the moment. But this is the way to get to a wider use of renewable energy.
This process is only the beginning until there is a viable alternative for methane. Anything that decreases the harmful emissions is helpful. Here’s to hoping that the project is ready for consumer use soon.