Professor Mike Jetten of Radboud University believes he can help tackle global warming by uncovering bacteria that consume methane before it reaches the environment.
Horizon sent a camera crew to the Netherlands to see Prof. Jetten and his team knee-deep in mud as they hunt for bacteria.
They know that methane is consumed below the waterline, and they are searching ponds and rivers to find the bacteria responsible.
‘We want to find these organisms because we want to understand why methane is already consumed under the water table,’ said Prof. Jetten, whose research has been funded by the European Research Council.
‘Later on, we can use these new bacteria for new processes in waste water treatment systems.’
Bill Gates and the European Commission have launched a €100 million investment fund designed to bring radical clean energy technologies more quickly to market in order to promote energy efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Hydrogen can be used to power cars, supply electricity and heat homes, all with zero carbon emissions. The snag is that the vast majority of hydrogen itself is derived from fossil fuels – a fact that scientists are now hoping to change. They plan to clean up production to kickstart a dedicated economy – something that has already found small-scale success in Scotland’s Orkney Islands.
We should breed new varieties of crops based on their root architecture rather than just focusing on the top half of the plant, according to scientists looking at how to cultivate plants that use water more efficiently and better withstand drought conditions.
Businesses and consumers need to stop thinking of products as things to own and move towards a culture of sharing and repairing if we are to fulfil the ambition of creating a circular economy, according to Felipe Maya, project and innovation manager at sustainable engineering firm Exergy, headquartered in Coventry, UK.
Europe's leadership 'more important than ever', says Gates.
The goal is to remove reliance on fossil fuels.
A circular economy needs new business models and reusable products, says Felipe Maya.