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Gas Hydrates – A Potentially New Energy Source

October 29th, 2006 | No Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

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Gas Hydrates – A Potentially New Energy Source

Found an interesting link about gas hydrates @ IfEnergy.

The article says ” Gas Hydrates could be this century’s next biggest energy find, as reservoirs of the compound have been spotted, found, and studied all over the world.”

Thought I’d google a bit and check out more on this interesting and new (at least to me :-() idea.

This is the info from Wikipedia article on gas hydrate:

A gas hydrate is a hydrate consisting of a water lattice in which light hydrocarbon molecules are embedded resembling dirty ice. Hydrates normally form when a gas stream is cooled below its hydrate formation temperature in the presence of free water, such as when the gas is colder than its water dew point temperature.

The two major conditions that promotes hydrate formation are thus:

High gas pressure and low gas temperature
The gas at or below its water dew point with “free water” present

Well, why shoud this excite us. For two reasons, says the IfEnergy blog article: (1) There is methane trapped within the lattices, and methane is a source of energy, (2) CO2 can be sequestered (captured & isolated) within the lattices, which means these can contribute to the ecology balance.

However, these gas hydrates also form a vital constituent of the ocean beds and hence, according to the Ifenergy blog, more thought is required before these hydrates can be harnessed…

Interesting, will keep an eye out for gas hydrates…

Update on 01 Nov: read another short but interesting post on gas hydrates, this time from WillyRitch.com . In this post, Willy Ritch mentions a recent conference held in Scotland in which scientisrs discussed the concept and future of gas hydrates. The consensus at the meeting apparently was that gas hydrates contain twice the total of all the world’s current fossil fuel reserves. Another interesting nugget is mentioned in this post: “Scientists say (gas hydrates extraction) must be done very carefully or much of the gas could be released into the atmoshphere with serious advers consequences. At least one scientist thinks escaping methane from gas hydrates could explain the mythology of the Bermuda triangle.” This apparently is because extracting gas hydrates could result in a massive amount of gases bubbling up to the ocean, thus decreasing the density of water and sinking ships which were earlier floating safely. The gas is also highly explosive which could result in explosions around airplanes flying in that area…hmmm…interesting, bermuda triangle’s mystery could be, might be because of gas hydrates, what do you think?

See also: Oilgae Blog Article Directory for a complete listing of all Oilgae blog posts – covering news, research and updates on biodiesel from algae & other plant feedstock, ethanol, and other renewable energy such as wind energy, hydrogen, hydro-energy, tidal/wave energy, geothermal, solar energy & nuclear energy

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