Bugs with gas

Microbes living in sand under the sea may produce gases such as propane.

By Julie Rehmeyer, 00:00 AM September 28, 2006

You may know of propane as the gas that fires up camp stoves or fuels outdoor grills.


Researchers have now found that microbes living under the ocean floor appear to produce propane and another gas called ethane. These microbes chew up ancient organic material, such as leaves and twigs buried in the sand, and they generate the gases as waste products.


That's a surprise. Scientists had thought that propane and ethane could be produced only in the same way that petroleum is—by great heat applie...

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