A gigantic natural gas field discovered a few years ago in the United States is showing scientists that fossil fuel can turn into a source of renewable energy and enable electicity a too low cost. And the secret is use anaerobics bacterias to produce it.
Source of Renewable natural gas
Staff Geologist Steven Petsch, University of Massachusetts, found that natural gas was generated during the last glaciation by eating bacteria, carbon trapped in rocks below the ice. These bacteria can live without the presence of oxygen.
“Bacteria digested the carbon in the rocks and produced enormous quantities of natural gas in a relatively short period of time, tens of thousands of years instead of millions,” he says. “This suggests that it may be possible to seed carbon-rich environments with bacteria to create natural gas reservoirs.”
The Methane in the atmosphere
The study also helps explain the high levels of methane in the atmosphere in interglacial periods, a trend recorded in ice cores collected in Greenland and Antarctica. When the ice is retracted, methane trapped in porous rocks below was released to the atmosphere.
The geological formation of the Antrim Shale field shows that, for most of its history, the water inside was too salty to allow the life of the bacteria. But during the ice ages, current areas rich in natural gas received an influx of fresh water is injected into the rock by the pressure of the ice.
Today there are many natural gas generators that can generate electricity a too low cost. Combined with the use of natural gas generated by bacterias, we can have renewable sources of energy, and turns the world more renovable at all.