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:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert ... a media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid ... software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the ... the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 According to a new market ... Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, ... Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to ... of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No two ... researchers at the New York University Tandon School ... Engineering have found that partial similarities between prints ... used in mobile phones and other electronic devices ... The vulnerability lies in the fact that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... ... Bacterial biofilms, surface adherent communities of bacteria that are encased in a ... and catheter infections to gum disease and the rejection of medical implants. Though ... year, there is currently a paucity of means for preventing their formation or treating ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... ... Stratevi, a boutique firm that partners with healthcare companies to creatively develop and ... downtown Boston at 745 Atlantic Ave. , “We are seeing that even the ... value they provide, not just to patients, but also payers. Having a presence in ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... Ovation Fertility scientists’ ... American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB) and the College of Reproductive Biology (CRB) today ... AAB’s commitment to excellence in clinical laboratory services and regulations. , “We ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2017 ... ... for its QED Proof-of-Concept Program. Academic researchers with technologies ripe for commercialization, ... Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, are encouraged to submit proposals. QED, now in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: