Scientists Use Microbes to Make Clean Methane

Scientists Use Microbes to Make Clean Methane

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Microbes that convert electricity into methane gas could become an important source of renewable energy, according to scientists from Stanford and Pennsylvania State universities.

Researchers at both campuses are raising colonies of microorganisms, called methanogens, which have the remarkable ability to turn electrical energy into pure methane—the key ingredient in natural gas. The scientists’ goal is to create large microbial factories that will transform clean electricity from solar, wind, or nuclear power into renewable methane fuel and other valuable chemical compounds for industry.

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