Sunday, November 25, 2007

A climate solution: "Biotic landfill cover treatments for mitigating methane emissions"

I'm reading abstracts on global climate change for a project I'm working on, and came across this one:
Landfill methane (CH4) emissions have been cited as one of the anthropogenic gas releases that can and should be controlled to reduce global climate change. This article reviews recent research that identifies ways to enhance microbial consumption of the gas in the aerobic portion of a landfill cover. Use of these methods can augment CH4 emission reductions achieved by gas collection or provide a sole means to consume CH4 at small landfills that do not have active gas collection systems. Field studies indicate that high levels of CH4 removal can be achieved by optimizing natural soil microbial processes.

Further, during biotic conversion, not all of the CH4 carbon is converted to carbon dioxide (CO2) gas and released to the atmosphere; some of it will be sequestered in microbial biomass. Because biotic covers can employ residuals from other municipal processes, financial benefits can also accrue from avoided costs for residuals disposal.

(ISI ref. no 000181688700007, Hilger & Humer 2003).

This is new to me and seems very doable. Obviously not a silver bullet, but every little bit helps, and people are already working on it.

Nice to find some good news.

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