Aerobic methane production

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Aerobic methane production is a recent discovery. While biomethanation usually only occurs under anoxic conditions, the generation of methane in an oxygenated environment under near-ambient conditions was discovered in 2006.[1] Although the emissions are smaller than the initial extrapolations, results clearly show the existence of a non-microbial CH4 production. Temperature and ultraviolet light are key factors involved in the aerobic generation of CH4 from organic matter. [2]

Aerobic methane production was discovered when David Karl, an Oceanographer in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawaii at Mânoa wondered about the excess of methane in the atmosphere. The discovery led to the idea that methylphosphonates created by certain types of archaea and bacteria can lead to methane production.[3]


  1. ^ Keppler, F., Roeckmann, T., Hamilton, J. T. G., and Braß, M., Nature 439 (7073), 187 (2006). Methane emissions from terrestrial plants under aerobic conditions
  2. ^ Vigano, I., et al.: Biogeosciences, 5, 937-947, 2008. Effect of UV radiation and temperature on the emission of methane from plant biomass and structural components
  3. ^ 1.David M. Karl, Lucas Beversdorf, Karin M. Björkman, Matthew J. Church, Asuncion Martinez & Edward F. Delong, I., et al.: science, 29 June 2008] New Pathway For Methane Production In The Oceans Discovered