DENVER, CO (November 16, 2004): Researchers at Luca Technologies, Inc. have made a discovery regarding natural gas production in Wyoming's Powder River Basin that could lead to a renewable source of energy for generations to come. The company today announced that laboratory evidence shows that the Powder River Basin (PRB) coals are generating natural gas in real time through the ongoing activity of anaerobic microbes (bacteria that live in the absence of oxygen) resident in those coal fields. The company has termed sites where this microbial conversion of hydrocarbon deposits (coals, organic shales, or oil) to methane occurs "GeobioreactorsTM
," and believes the careful management of such sites may offer a new long-term solution to U.S. energy needs.
Robert Pfeiffer, LUCA Technologies president and chief executive officer commented, "Our research on native coal, water and microbial samples from the PRB has determined that PRB coals can produce natural gas in real time. This finding suggests that the gas in the PRB need not be an ancient remnant of microbial activity, as generally believed, but instead is being actively created today. Moreover, we can increase or decrease methane production by PRB microbes by altering their access to water or nutrients, or halt gas production entirely by exposing the organisms to oxygen or heat sterilization. This finding holds the potential of turning what is today thought to be a finite energy resource into a renewable source of natural gas that could potentially go on for hundreds of years."
LUCA believes that in order to attempt to maximize the ultimate recovery of methane from this potentially enormous natural energy resource it will be necessary to amend certain current operating practices as well as review current legal and regulatory underpinnings of energy development. The company is currently discussing its findings with Wyoming and U.S. nPage: 1 2 Related biology news :1
Contact: Joan Kureczka
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