Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and according to the International Energy Agency, the concentration of methane in the atmosphere is currently around two-and-a-half times greater than pre-industrial levels and is increasing steadily, with waste emissions and the burning of fossil fuels accounting for a significant portion.

Offering the potential to clear two hurdles in a single leap, the scientists believe if their process becomes cost-effective, all the world’s landfills could be energy sources.