Radiolysis via radioactivity is not responsible for rapid methane oxidation in subterranean air

PloS One
Arndt SchimmelmannJ T Lennon

Abstract

Atmospheric methane is rapidly lost when it enters humid subterranean critical and vadose zones (e.g., air in soils and caves). Because methane is a source of carbon and energy, it can be consumed by methanotrophic methane-oxidizing bacteria. As an additional subterranean sink, it has been hypothesized that methane is oxidized by natural radioactivity-induced radiolysis that produces energetic ions and radicals, which then trigger abiotic oxidation and consumption of methane within a few hours. Using controlled laboratory experiments, we tested whether radiolysis could rapidly oxidize methane in sealed air with different relative humidities while being exposed to elevated levels of radiation (more than 535 kBq m-3) from radon isotopes 222Rn and 220Rn (i.e., thoron). We found no evidence that radiolysis contributed to methane oxidation. In contrast, we observed the rapid loss of methane when moist soil was added to the same apparatus in the absence of elevated radon abundance. Together, our findings are consistent with the view that methane oxidizing bacteria are responsible for the widespread observations of methane depletion in subterranean environments. Further studies are needed on the ability of microbes to consume trace am...Continue Reading

References

Oct 1, 1985·The Science of the Total Environment·A Lindmark, B Rosen
Jan 1, 1995·Annual Review of Microbiology·R L Mancinelli
Oct 20, 2000·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·G RasulG A Olah
Mar 28, 2009·International Journal of Molecular Sciences·Constantin CosmaSorana D Bolboacă
Aug 25, 2009·Applied Radiation and Isotopes : Including Data, Instrumentation and Methods for Use in Agriculture, Industry and Medicine·P M KolarzB P Marinković
Jul 20, 2011·The Science of the Total Environment·Jin WangJochen Tschiersch
Apr 29, 2015·Nature Communications·Angel Fernandez-CortesSergio Sanchez-Moral
Sep 28, 2016·Geobiology·J T LennonA Schimmelmann
Dec 13, 2016·The Science of the Total Environment·Oliver MeisenbergJochen Tschiersch
May 17, 2017·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Michael J Prather, Christopher D Holmes
Jul 5, 2017·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Daniel R ColmanJohn R Spear
Aug 18, 2017·Scientific Reports·Chris L WaringGraham Bell
Jun 30, 2018·Microbiome·Muhammad Farhan Ul HaqueJ Colin Murrell

Related Concepts

Air
Air Pollutants, Environmental
Environmental Monitoring
Methane
Oxidation-Reduction
Radioactivity
Compost
Carbon
Environment
Ions

Trending Feeds

COVID-19

Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Synthetic Genetic Array Analysis

Synthetic genetic arrays allow the systematic examination of genetic interactions. Here is the latest research focusing on synthetic genetic arrays and their analyses.

Congenital Hyperinsulinism

Congenital hyperinsulinism is caused by genetic mutations resulting in excess insulin secretion from beta cells of the pancreas. Here is the latest research.

Neural Activity: Imaging

Imaging of neural activity in vivo has developed rapidly recently with the advancement of fluorescence microscopy, including new applications using miniaturized microscopes (miniscopes). This feed follows the progress in this growing field.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease characterized by unexplained disabling fatigue; the pathology of which is incompletely understood. Discover the latest research on chronic fatigue syndrome here.

Epigenetic Memory

Epigenetic memory refers to the heritable genetic changes that are not explained by the DNA sequence. Find the latest research on epigenetic memory here.

Cell Atlas of the Human Eye

Constructing a cell atlas of the human eye will require transcriptomic and histologic analysis over the lifespan. This understanding will aid in the study of development and disease. Find the latest research pertaining to the Cell Atlas of the Human Eye here.

Femoral Neoplasms

Femoral Neoplasms are bone tumors that arise in the femur. Discover the latest research on femoral neoplasms here.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.