For decades, marine chemists have faced an elusive paradox. The surface waters of the world’s oceans are supersaturated with the greenhouse gas methane, yet most species of microbes that can generate the gas can’t survive in oxygen-rich surface waters. So where exactly does all the methane come from? This longstanding riddle, known as the “marine methane paradox,” may have finally been cracked thanks to a new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). (more…)
Tag Archives: methane
U chemists explain new reaction, demonstrating how quantum mechanics can help design more energy-efficient catalysts.
You’ve probably worn polyester clothes, and you’ve certainly used plenty of plastic objects and paint. But did you know that they come from natural gas?
The main component of natural gas, methane, has just one carbon atom and is the smallest fossil fuel. But as the ultimate source material for the above products and many others it packs an enormous punch. First, however, it must be converted to methanol, an alcohol—and there lies the challenge. (more…)
A powerful new model to detect life on planets outside of our solar system, more accurately than ever before, has been developed by UCL researchers.
The new model focuses on methane, the simplest organic molecule, widely acknowledged to be a sign of potential life.
Researchers from UCL and the University of New South Wales have developed a new spectrum for ‘hot’ methane which can be used to detect the molecule at temperatures above that of Earth, up to 1,500K/1220°C – something which was not possible before. (more…)
The release of volatile organic compounds from Earth’s forests and smoke from wildfires 3 million years ago had a far greater impact on global warming than ancient atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, a new Yale study finds.
The research provides evidence that dynamic atmospheric chemistry played an important role in past warm climates, underscoring the complexity of climate change and the relevance of natural components, according to the authors. They do not address or dispute the significant role in climate change of human-generated CO2 emissions. (more…)
How’s this for innovative: A Berkeley Lab-led team hopes to engineer a new enzyme that efficiently converts methane to liquid transportation fuel.
“There’s a lot of methane available, and we want to develop a new way to harness it as an energy source for vehicles,” says Christer Jansson, a biochemist in Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division who heads the effort. (more…)
California is on track to meet its state-mandated targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions for 2020, but it will not be able to meet its 2050 target without bold new technologies and policies. This is the conclusion of the California Greenhouse Gas Inventory Spreadsheet (GHGIS), a new model developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to look at how far existing policies and technologies can get us in emissions reductions.
A 2005 executive order requires California to reduce its emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases—including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and hydrofluorocarbons—to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. “This is quite a stringent requirement, and even if we aggressively expand our policies and implement fledgling technologies that are not even on the marketplace now, our analysis shows that California will still not be able to get emissions to 85 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent per year by 2050,” said Jeff Greenblatt, a Berkeley Lab researcher who created the GHGIS. (more…)
Turning fossil fuel into energy is easy: You just burn it. And live with the carbon dioxide byproduct. What if we could reverse the process and turn water and carbon dioxide back into fuel?
A dream solution, but it may seem like trying to put the genie back in the bottle. (more…)
Wind energy is one of the cleanest forms of renewable energy along with solar. This is the main reason why wind turbines were some of the very first form of clean energy producers adopted not only by governments, but also people to power their homes. They cost relatively less when compared to installing solar panels.
Reasons to consider powering your house with wind turbines
#1 Contribute To Your Community
Keep your head high and feel proud, you are going to contribute to your community. You can’t obviously store all of the energy that will be produced by your system. You will be able to export excess energy produced by your turbines to the local grid and share the electricity with your neighbors. (more…)