Methane Current Affairs - 2020

Facts Box: Methanotrophic Bacteria Culture first time in India

The Agharkar Research Institute of Pune has isolated 45 strains of methanotrophic bacteria. These bacteria are capable of reducing methane emissions in rice plants.

Highlights

Apart from isolating the strains, the scientists have also created methanotrophic culture. The isolated bacteria were from southern and western India.

What are Methanotrophs?

Methanotrophs are environmental organisms that have a major role in cycling of methane. They oxidize methane in the environment. The methanotrophic bacteria oxidize methane through anaerobic metabolism. The methanotrophs are used as bio-inoculants.

What are Bio-Inoculants?

Bio-Inoculant are strains of bacteria, algae or fungi. They take in nitrogen from atmosphere and prepare nitrates required for plants. By this, use of fertilizers are reduced. They also increase zinc and phosphorous availability for plants.

Benefits

After carbon-dioxide, methane is the second largest green house gas contributor. With the use of methanotrophic bacteria in agriculture, emission of methane shall be greatly reduced. Methane traps 84 times of heat trapped by carbon-dioxide.

IIT-KGP develops Hydro Thermal Carbonization technology for Waste Management

IIT-KGP (Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur) researchers develop new technology- Hydro Thermal Carbonization (HTC) for solid waste management. This Hydro Thermal Carbonization Technology can convert municipal solid waste to biofuel, soil amendment and absorbents.

About Hydro Thermal Carbonization (HTC)

Need: At present India has adopted waste incineration processes from developed nations which are primarily focused on treating drier waste content. These processes require high energy input to combust municipal solid waste generated in India which has high moisture content due to tropical weather, open collection systems and mixed waste thus by using existing processes, only 20-30% of organic fraction of municipal solid waste is being recycled to biofuel. This lack of India suited technology led to develop a technology which can address the challenge indigenously.

Process: Moisture in waste is used to the advantage of process which uses water for reaction. The biofuel generated as recovered output can help curb air pollution.

Benefits:

Technology can be used by civic bodies to effectively manage solid waste.

Once organic waste is entered into process, the outputs generated are all usable.

All outputs can be used for one purpose or the other, including the water which can be converted to biogas or methane.