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Methane is an abundant energy source that is used for power generation in thermal power plants via combustion, but direct conversion to electricity in fuel cells remains challenging. Now, a microbial fuel cell is demonstrated to efficiently convert methane directly to current by careful selection of a consortium of microorganisms.
Anaerobic microbes have been found to break down the hydrocarbon butane by a pathway with some similarities to anaerobic methane breakdown. Harnessing the butane pathway might enable biofuel generation. See Article p.396