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Bacteria that ‘eat’ methane

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: The Guardian 

Context: A study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington suggests that utilizing bacteria known as methanotrophs, which consume methane, could potentially slow down the rate of global heating.

 

  • Methane is a potent greenhouse gas emitted from various sources including energy production, industry, agriculture, and waste management.
  • The researchers have identified a specific strain of bacteria, methylotuvimicrobium buryatense 5GB1C, that efficiently removes methane, even when present in lower concentrations.
  • Unlike many other proposed methane reduction strategies, this method doesn’t produce nitrous oxide emissions, which have a significant global warming potential.