First-Ever Environmental Impact Study for a Methane Removal Approach Published in the Journal Sustainability

Methane Action announced publication of a first-ever environmental impact modeling study of the potential methane removal technique known as Enhanced Atmospheric Methane Oxidation (EAMO).  EAMO aims at oxidizing methane in the atmosphere and could potentially be used to lower dangerously high and rapidly rising methane levels.  The study was published in the peer-reviewed science journal Sustainability: “Environmental Impact Modeling for a Small-Scale Field Test of Methane Removal by Iron Salt Aerosols”.

The model addresses a hypothetical small-scale test of EAMO in the southern Caribbean, where a single cargo ship would inject iron salt aerosols into its exhaust plume with the aim of oxidizing methane in the air above. Modeling results for this test scenario predicted no significant negative impacts from the injected compounds on the ship’s crew, the air, or the marine environment.

Timothy Sturtz, PhD, an internationally recognized expert on assessing emissions from moving ships, who works with the consulting firm Environmental Science Associates (ESA), led the study on a contract with Methane Action. ESA developed a complex model to assess EAMO’s potential for harmful impacts. Methane Action’s Science Advisor, Renaud de Richter, PhD, author of groundbreaking scientific papers on EAMO’s potential to combat global warming, aided with ESA’s analysis. Peter Jenkins, Chair of Methane Action’s Board of Advisors, also was a co-author.

This new publication assessing a hypothetical EAMO field test provides a template for impact prediction. It sets the stage for future assessments of larger field test scenarios which could help to determine whether EAMO can be deployed safely and effectively.  

An illustration depicting a ship at sea that is emitting iron salts in its exhaust which then oxidize methane.

Citation: Sturtz, T.M.; Jenkins, P.T.; de Richter, R. Environmental Impact Modeling for a Small-Scale Field Test of Methane Removal by Iron Salt Aerosols. Sustainability 2022, 14, 14060 

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