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Monday, July 30, 2012

"Review of methane mitigation technologies with application to rapid release of methane from the Arctic," by J. K. Stolaroff et al., Environ. Sci. & Technol., 46 (2012)

 46(12) (June 19, 2012) 6455-6469; Epub 2012 Jun 7.

Review of methane mitigation technologies with application to rapid release of methane from the Arctic

J. K. StolaroffS. BhattacharyyaC. A. SmithW. L. BourcierP. J. Cameron-Smith and R. D. Aines


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory , Livermore, CA, U.S.A.


Methane is the most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide, with particular influence on near-term climate change. It poses increasing risk in the future from both direct anthropogenic sources and potential rapid release from the Arctic. A range of mitigation (emissions control) technologies have been developed for anthropogenic sources that can be developed for further application, including to Arctic sources. Significant gaps in understanding remain of the mechanisms, magnitude, and likelihood of rapid methane release from the Arctic. Methane may be released by several pathways, including lakes, wetlands, and oceans, and may be either uniform over large areas or concentrated in patches. Across Arctic sources, bubbles originating in the sediment are the most important mechanism for methane to reach the atmosphere. Most known technologies operate on confined gas streams of 0.1% methane or more, and may be applicable to limited Arctic sources where methane is concentrated in pockets. However, some mitigation strategies developed for rice paddies and agricultural soils are promising for Arctic wetlands and thawing permafrost. Other mitigation strategies specific to the Arctic have been proposed but have yet to be studied. Overall, we identify four avenues of research and development that can serve the dual purposes of addressing current methane sources and potential Arctic sources: (1) methane release detection and quantification, (2) mitigation units for small and remote methane streams, (3) mitigation methods for dilute (<1000 ppm) methane streams, and (4) understanding methanotroph and methanogen ecology.
[PubMed - in process]

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