Methane producing microbes

20 Nov 2013

Malaga Bay also came to mind when I read the headline here too - see http://phys.org/print304016779.html ... microbiologists have found that methanogen microbes can reduce carbon dioxide to methane by a mechanism in which they make 'electrical connections' with other micro organisms, something not recognised in methanogens before. Bacteria anaerobically digest biomass to produce methane gas, an important piece of bio-energy. In nature these methanogens are active in bogs, swamps, and wetland zones, and their productivity is a source of angst to climate alarmists. As they have obviously been around for millions of years one wonders why they have become so 'alarming' in CAGW quarters - but being rational doesn't appear to be part of the song sheet. There is a lot of methane preserved in tundra soils and permafrost yet methanogens are used in biomass digesters (a Green renewable source of energy). In this particular study the methanogens were found in digesters converting brewery waste to methane. Earlier studies had shown the methanogen concerned grows electrically conductive filaments known as microbial non wires which transport electrons outside the cell to make an electrical connection with minerals, electrodes and other cells. The new study shows more clearly how this happens - including inter species direct electron transfer (which is the new bit).