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Scientists unveil methane munching monster, 100 million times faster than nature

Ameya Paleja of Interesting Engineering reports on a new machine that can remove methane 100 times faster than nature.

The C3 Take
  • The team of scientists at the University of Copenhagen created a reaction chamber where chlorine and light create a chain reaction that breaks down methane (more below).
  • The scientists were able to capture 88% of the methane inside the reaction chamber and plan to make a larger chamber that will attach to livestock barns where methane is abundant.
  • Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 80 times more potent as carbon dioxide.

“First, methane gas is collected in the reaction chamber and then chlorine molecules are introduced subsequently. UV light is then used to split the chlorine molecules into two highly reactive chlorine atoms.

The chlorine atoms then steal hydrogen atoms from methane to make hydrochloric acid (HCl), which can be captured and recycled. The methane atoms decompose into carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and hydrogen (H2), the same way it is processed naturally but at a rate that’s roughly 100 million times faster in the reaction chamber.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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