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Renewable Energy Could Create Methane as Storage But Should It

Reuters is reporting that methane could be the solutions for storage of extra electricity produce by wind and solar power. Scientists have discovered a microbe, Methanobacterium palustre, that can convert electricity directly into methane as long as you add a little hydrogen to the mix.

The problem is that methane is also a greenhouse gas and even more deadly than CO2. Methane is also the main component in nature gas. But, methane is made up of CH4. That means one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms.

What is the point of adding electricity and hydrogen to produce methane, when you can use hydrogen, which produces zero greenhouse emission for storage? Today, most hydrogen is produce from natural gas by stripping out the carbon and selling it on the market as its own commodity.

A better way to store extra electricity generated from renewable resources such as wind and sun is hydrogen. You take the electric current and use modern electrolysis methods to produce hydrogen and oxygen. You store the hydrogen for use with fuel cells and sell the oxygen on the open market.

The only reason to make methane from microbes is as an interim step to producing hydrogen. Zero emissions will clean up greenhouse gasses and global warming far faster than low emission methods. And the time to start thinking this way is now.

About Kevin

Kevin is both an environmentalist and a tech guy and has been writing, editing and publishing this blog since 2007. He answers questions related to how you can use tech to go greener.

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