A BBC Science & Environment report has highlighted work being carried out to monitor and analyse methane emissions from Britain’s 200 landfill sites using unmanned drone aircraft.
The video report shows time-lapse footage of a chicken swelling with gas as it decomposes in laboratory conditions designed to simulate those of a landfill site at the Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University.
Dr Jillian Newton calculated that the 1.2kg chicken produced 31.2 litres of biogas - which would contain 79.8g of methane and carbon dioxide.
According to the BBC the drone project is being run by the University of Manchester and the Environment Agency (EA) and is driven by the need to find an easy way to monitor a long-term problem.
"It'll allow us to get a better understanding of the emissions from a particular site,” said Doug Wilson, the Environment Agency's director of scientific evidence services. "There are 830,000 tonnes of methane from the waste sector and methane is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide,"
Dr Peter Hollingworth of the University of Manchester was reported to have said that the concept had been proved with data successfully gathered about carbon dioxide emissions and calculations made to understand the methane levels too.
"Ideally what we're getting to is an autonomous flight - and you'd come out to a site with a smaller aircraft than this one, or with two or three of them, and fly them at different points on the site and measure the incoming flow and the outgoing flow,” he said.
The report can be watched HERE
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