In terms of renewable energy, we have definitely come a long way. However, the problem is that sometimes we generate more than we need and we don’t always have a way to store the excess energy. This means that there will be moments when we have too much, and times when we don’t have enough and can’t access this excess energy.

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However, it seems that researchers over at Stanford University have come up with an idea in which they will take excess renewable energy and convert it into methane. This means that in the event that we do need the extra energy, the methane can simply be burned and used as an energy source instead.

How this will be done is by using the microorganism Methanococcus maripaludis. This microorganism consumes hydrogen and carbon dioxide, and in return it produces methane. The researchers will be using a renewable energy-powered electrode to split water and free its hydrogen atoms, which will then be fed to these microorganisms who will then release methane that will be captured and stored for future use.

Now there is some concern about burning methane because it releases carbon dioxide, but since this method of producing method is done by pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it will be a relatively carbon neutral process. It might take a while before the researchers can get it up to scale, but it does show some promise.

Filed in Green. Read more about . Source: engadget

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