Flaring alternative flagged

US RESEARCHERS have come up with a better use for waste methane associated with oil production, suggesting it can be broken down in the field rather than flared off.

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Brakken Formation methane flaring in North Dakota as seen from space at NASA’s Earth Observatory.

A US team has engineered a small reactor that cheaply breaks water and methane down in the field into carbon monoxide and hydrogen, as an alternative to wasteful flaring.