Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they have found a potent new tool in the fight against global warming. It is basically cat litter. They soaked an odor-eating clay used in cat boxes in a copper solution to create a compound that they say snatches methane from passing air and turns it into carbon dioxide, a much less harmful greenhouse gas.
The discovery could also create another possible application for zeolite, a clay used to clean up some of humankind’s nastiest messes, from driveway oil spills to the 2011 meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Besides coal mines and belching cattle, methane seeps from swamps, landfills, manure lagoons and melting permafrost. It bubbles up from lake bottoms and escapes pipelines and drilling sites. Termites are notorious emitters.
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