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Darryl George, an 18-year-old junior at Barbers Hill High School, has spent much of his school year isolated due to in-school suspension for...

Chemist People Make a Device to Limit Methane Pollution

Chemist+People+Make+a+Device+to+Limit+Methane+Pollution

Industrial farms have one thing in common, they produce methane. Methane is very bad for the environment and is one of the reasons why global warming has happened. Scientists have created a device to limit or eliminate methane emissions to slow global warming.  

 

Each methane molecule holds energy with its chemical bonds, If the methane can be concentrated enough, it becomes fuel. Burning methane can be useful heat but most of the methane is too diluted to become fuel. Most of the methane in the air is from livestock—cow burps and rotting cow poop.

 

Using the methane in the air as a resource is only something people can dream about but now it is a reality. Matt Johnson, a chemist at the University of Copenhagen is making that happen. He invented a device that cleans the air and uses the methane for good. His method of cleaning the air will be able to remove a lot of air pollution. Many of the traditonal ways of cleaning air would not work with methane.

 

When sunlight naturally hit chlorine, it splits the molecule into 2. This is known as chlorine radical. The radicals is very reactive and they react to methane molecules and break them down. There are not that many chlorine radicals so they can only break down some amount of methane

 

Matt Johnson and his team have designed a device to speed up the process. It starts with disinfecting the room with chlorine and then using electricity to split the chlorine molecules. Inside the room, the LED lights in the room shine on the chlorine gas. The light breaks the gas molecules into chlorine radicals. The chlorine radicals cleave the hydrogen off of the methane molecules. The methane becomes methyl radical and it reacts with the oxygen. After than it becomes a harmless greenhouse gas.

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Mason Kim, Head of Department (Tech and Science)

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