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Analytical/Radio/Inorganic Seminar

April 5, 2019 @ 3:10 pm - 4:00 pm

Robbie Baker

Zoom Link

Gas chromatography analysis of in situ studies relates methane (CH4) as both a contributor and a source to reduce to greenhouse gases (GHG) by atmospherically reprocessing for clean natural gas.

Methanogenesis is a terminal process of anaerobic biomass degradation, which takes place in the presence of carbon dioxide (CO2), metal carbonate (XCO3, X = Fe, Ca, and Mg) and hydrogen (H2) gases to produce methane (CH4). Methanogens are found in a wide range of anaerobic environments on Earth including Antarctica, hot springs, wastewaters and oil reservoirs. Man-made hydroelectric reservoirs seasonally fluctuate organic material increasing methanogenesis; thus producing bubble emissions of CH4 downstream from the dam is a contribution to greenhouse gasses (GHG). Diffusive and bubble CH4 emissions at the tropical Tucurui hydropower reservoir in Brazil have been estimated to be an average of 19.37mg/m2 per day and emitting 6.82×103 tons of CH4 per 10 month cycle by in situ sampling, geostatistical analysis, and remote sensing approaches. This is alarming as methane gas is the second most abundant GHG in the atmosphere yet has a high global warming potential of 34 times that of CO2. Due to the total carbon GHG contributions from methanogenesis and other aquatic species, hydroelectric reservoirs have been termed “not so clean”. Whereas production of natural gas has been considered “clean” source of energy; reducing GHG via catalytic metal Ni60-Co40 alloy reforming of CH4 with CO2, known as dry reforming of methane, (DRM) has gained industrial popularity, and has drawn much attention from the academic realm. DRM is thermodynamically challenging and energy consuming as high temperatures (800-1,000°C) are required to meet the reaction’s constraints to produce syngas 2CO + 2H2 (ΔH°298 = 247.3 KJ/mol). Experimental research has been successful when inducing an alternating magnetic field to reduce the amount of heat and metal catalyst optimizing DRM. Once the syngas is obtained, reactors containing Methanogenesis spp., an electron donor of Fe° (zero valent iron, ZVI) and Clostridiaceae perform methanogenesis and homoacetogenesis to exothermically produce CH4 (ΔG°’= -226 KJ/mol) for clean natural gas. Analysis of methane produced throughout the literature was performed with a gas chromatograph coupled with a thermal conductivity detector (TCD) and flame ionization detector (FID). However due to the temperature requirements the THR emissions and the bacterial fuel refinement samples were performed with Helium as a carrier gas; in contrast the DRM analysis used Argon as a carrier to withstand the high temperatures required to oxidize carbon.


April 5, 2019
3:10 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Categories:


Fulmer 438


Dr. Zachariah Heiden