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Gas Hydrates as a Potential Alternative Energy Source

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posted on Feb, 22 2006 @ 04:40 AM
I just found out about this thing called 'gas hydrates' and it's potential for use as an alternative fuel source. I'm not surprised that it's never mentioned on the news and such, after all the oil barons are in control of the world, aren't they?

What I found surprising was that I couldn't find anything on ATS about it either. A preliminary Google search yielded the following results:

USGS - Gas Hydrates: What is it?

A gas hydrate is a crystalline solid; its building blocks consist of a gas molecule surrounded by a cage of water molecules. Thus it is similar to ice, except that the crystalline structure is stabilized by the guest gas molecule within the cage of water molecules. Many gases have molecular sizes suitable to form hydrate, including such naturally occurring gases as carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and several low-carbon-number hydrocarbons, but most marine gas hydrates that have been analyzed are methane hydrates.

Gas Hydrates

Naturally occurring hydrates are being looked upon as a future energy source and a potential global climate hazard. These naturally occurring hydrates, containing mostly methane, exist in vast quantities within and below the permafrost zone and in sub sea sediments. At present the amount of organic carbon entrapped in hydrate exceeds all other reserves (fossil fuels, soil, peat, and living organisms).

Centre for Gas Hydrate Research: Where do Gas Hydrates Occur?

Gas hydrates may form wherever water and suitably sized 'guest' molecules (e.g. methane, carbon dioxide) exist under suitable high pressure and low temperature conditions. [...]

Suitable conditions for gas hydrate formation commonly occur during hydrocarbon production operations, where they are a major flow assurance problem. In the natural enviroment, hydrates may be found and in the sediments of the deep sea continetal margins, the subsurface of Arctic permafrost regions, and in deep glacial ice.

Interesting, no? I only found out about it while following a link in a thread in BTS that tests your 'Gullibility Factor'. There was a question concerning gas hydrates and honestly that was the first time I've heard of such a thing.

By the way, the picture above of the lumpy black thing with a white layer in between is that of layers of gas hydrates in subsea sediment samples.

[edit on 22-2-2006 by Beachcoma]

posted on Feb, 22 2006 @ 05:09 AM
Yeah, there is an awful lot of this over in the Asia/Pacific region. Methane hydrates are tricky booger-bears and the industry is still trying to get a handle on how to handle them. HA!

They tend to want to melt and break out when you don't want them to.
They are so delicately held in that state that even the heat of drilling can break them out, or the exothermic heat generation during cement curing can do it. So it's a bit of a bear in trying to keep them locked until you want them unlocked.

There's been work done in researching methane hydrates and optimizing drilling, cementing, etc., in the past, but it still isn't "optimized" and will probably take a lot more development of processes, chemicals and drilling techniques before they are consistently handled in a successful way.

posted on Mar, 6 2006 @ 01:10 AM
most of the earths hydrocarbons are tied up in hydrates it is verry posable to use these but we need a whole new system for collecting and refineing them

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