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A new study… Mud is the best way to purify the atmosphere from methane

Although the conditions are actually more challenging than they are in the lab, the researchers hope to make devices that are compatible with the ventilation systems used in methane emitting sources, and could simply be an add-on to them.

A team of researchers has come up with a promising way to efficiently reduce greenhouse gas methane emissions and remove it from the air, using an abundant and inexpensive form of clay.

Methane is known to be a greenhouse gas and has a much more potent effect than carbon dioxide, so the recent international climate negotiations in Glasgow made reducing methane emissions a key priority to curb global climate change.

Contrary to popular belief linking atmospheric methane to the exploration and extraction of oil and natural gas, these sources only account for about 18% of global methane emissions.

The vast majority of methane comes from other sources such as agriculture, animal husbandry, coal and ores mining, wetlands, and thawing permafrost.

Because the sources of emissions of this gas are multiple, reducing its emissions seems complicated and costly.

Treating zeolite with a small amount of copper makes the material very effective at absorbing methane from the air (Getty Images)

How does the new method work?

In a new scientific study, a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has come up with a new way to reduce methane emissions and remove it from the air, using a type of clay called zeolite.

The team found that treating zeolite with a small amount of copper makes the material very effective at absorbing methane from the air, even at very low concentrations.

The results were published studying Recently, in the journal ACS Environment.

According to a statement by the institute, the researchers, during laboratory experiments, packed small particles of copper-reinforced zeolite into a reaction tube that was heated from the outside by a gas stream, and methane gas flowed through it with different concentrations ranging from two parts to 20 thousand parts per million.

And the molecules converted methane into carbon dioxide, which has a less impact on the phenomenon of warming the atmosphere, about 80 times that of methane. It is a process that occurs naturally in the atmosphere over time, but the use of this method leads to an acceleration of this transformation, and will significantly reduce the impact of the climate in the short term.

According to the researchers, converting half of the methane in the atmosphere to carbon dioxide will not affect its concentration in the atmosphere, which will only increase by less than one part per million.

This method has several advantages over other methods of removing methane from air (Getty Images)

What are its features?

This method, according to researcher Desiree Plata, co-author of the study, has several advantages over other methods of removing methane from air, which tend to use expensive catalysts such as platinum or palladium, and require high temperatures of at least 600 degrees Celsius.

In contrast, the new method reaches a peak efficiency of only about 300 degrees Celsius, which means that it requires much less energy for heating than other processes, in addition to that it also works with very low concentrations of methane even small parts of 1%, which most methods cannot remove. .

The creators of the new method for getting rid of methane gas – according to the same source – stated that the ideal location for such systems would be in places where there is a relatively concentrated source of methane, such as livestock pens and coal mines. They are usually equipped with powerful air handling systems, because methane buildup can cause a fire or explosion.

A major potential advantage of the new system is that the chemical process involved releases a significant amount of heat that can be used to generate electricity.

The team’s calculations show that “there’s likely enough heat in the coal mines to generate electricity on a power plant scale, which is great because it means the device can pay for itself,” says Plata.

Although the conditions are actually more challenging than they are in the lab, the researchers hope to make devices that are compatible with the ventilation systems used in methane emitting sources, and could simply be an add-on to them.



Reference-www.aljazeera.net

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