Navigation Links
Researchers ID microbe responsible for methane from landfills
Date:4/6/2011

Researchers have long known that landfills produce methane, but had a hard time figuring out why since landfills do not start out as a friendly environment for the organisms that produce methane. New research from North Carolina State University shows that one species of microbe is paving the way for other methane producers.

Specifically, the researchers found that an anaerobic bacterium called Methanosarcina barkeri appears to be the key microbe.

"Landfills receive a wide variety of solid waste, and that waste generally starts out with a fairly low pH level," says Dr. Francis de los Reyes, an associate professor of civil engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research. "The low pH level makes it difficult for most methanogens methane-producing organisms to survive. We started this project in hopes of better understanding the mechanism that raises the pH level in landfills, fostering the growth of methanogens."

What the researchers found was M. barkeri a hearty methanogen that can survive at low pH levels. M. barkeri consumes the acids in its environment, producing methane and increasing the pH levels in its immediate area. This, in turn, makes that area more amenable for other methanogens.

As moisture leaches through the landfill, it disseminates those high pH levels making other parts of the landfill habitable for M. barkeri and other methane-producing microbes. M. barkeri then moves in and repeats the process, leaving neutral pH levels and healthy populations of other methanogens in its wake.

Since M. barkeri and its methanogen cousins produce large quantities of methane, and methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, this could be bad news for the environment. But not necessarily. Methane can be, and often is, collected at landfill sites and used for power generation. Furthermore, methanogens break down solid waste as they go, compacting it so that it takes up less space.

"The research community can use our findings to explore ways of accelerating the methane-generation process," de los Reyes says, "creating methane more quickly for power generation, and making additional room in the landfill for waste disposal."


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers identify new role for cilia protein in mitosis
2. Researchers link herpes to Alzheimers disease
3. Researchers say children need horticultural interventions
4. Berkeley Lab researchers make first perovskite-based superlens for the infrared
5. Kentucky researchers find a key to plant disease resistance
6. Researchers unlock new secret to how smells are detected
7. RIT researchers help map tsunami and earthquake damage in Japan
8. Dont shuffle on slippery surfaces, Clemson University, Charleston researchers say
9. U of M researchers close in on technology for making renewable petroleum
10. Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizes 2011: Recognition and incentive for early career researchers
11. MU researchers use motion sensors to determine equine lameness
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... to use mobile banking and payment services.      ... a key innovation area for financial services, but it also ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... and LONDON , ... Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary ... Onegini today announced a partnership to integrate the ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) ... provide their customers enhanced security to access and ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... 20, 2016 The new GEZE ... compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. ... or the door interface with integration authorization management system, ... systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control and ... building installations offer considerable freedom of design with regard ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... YORK , May 26, 2016 ... today that it will be a featured presenter at the ... in New York City at the ... Denis Corin , Q BioMed Inc. CEO, is scheduled to ... will cover the company,s business strategy, recent developments and outline ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... today announced several positive developments that position the Company for the future. ... the transaction, Craig F. Kinghorn has been appointed Chairman of the Board, Curtis ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... of a Thai delegation at BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located at booth ... will be available to answer questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology and life ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Bethesda, Md. (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 ... ... a request for information (RFI) issued by the Office of the National Coordinator ... the patient experience, and determines if clinically relevant data were available when and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: