Methane is a greenhouse gas that is released by farming, mining, fossil fuel drilling, and by melting permafrost.
For climate scientists, the increasing emissions are a major concern, and the 2021 COP26 emphasized the need to reduce atmospheric methane quickly. But reduction is a serious challenge.
A potential solution has been developed by the Plata lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In this discussion, Dr. Plata explains the serious challenge of methane emissions and an ingenious solution created in her lab: an inexpensive system using zeolite clays and copper.
This solution is still in development, but is receiving a lot of attention.
“Methane Leaking through the Cracks,” by NASA Earth Observatory. Image cropped. CC BY 2.0
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BIO: Desiree Plata, PhD.
Desiree Plata received her Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography and Environmental Chemistry from the MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Joint Program in Oceanography (2009).
Plata is an NSF CAREER Awardee (2016), an Odebrecht-Braskem Sustainable Innovation Awardee (2015), a two-time National Academy of Engineers Frontiers of Engineering Fellow (2012, 2020), a two-time National Academy of Sciences Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow (2011, 2013), and a Caltech Resnick Sustainability Fellow (2017).
Dr. Plata has also served as Assistant Director for Research at the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale.