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Ice That Burns Could Be a Green Fossil Fuel

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posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 11:38 AM
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Ice That Burns Could Be a Green Fossil Fuel


www.newscientist.com

Natural gas locked up in water crystals could be a source of enormous amounts of energy – and if a new technology delivers what scientists are claiming, then it could be even be emissions-free too.

While methane hydrate is made up partly of water, the water molecules are organized into "cages", which trap individual molecules of methane inside them.

According to research presented this week a new method of extracting the methane could effectively make it a carbon-neutral fossil fuel.
(visit the link for the full news article)



Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
The Anti-Industrial Coup: Environmental Dictatorship by Executive Decree




posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 11:38 AM
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Sadly, the EPA this week ruled CO2 a pollutant harmful to human life, so we may have some squabbling about production.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

However, if developed, this source can be "carbon-neutral."

Methane hydrate cages "prefer" to have carbon dioxide at their cores, so if carbon dioxide is pumped into the hydrate, it spontaneously takes the methane's place. As a result, it should be possible to simultaneously extract methane and store carbon dioxide.

According to Tim Collett of the United States Geological Survey, this could be a bridging fuel. The exchange process has been shown to work in the lab. Pumping carbon dioxide into rock cores containing hydrate successfully released the methane, and stored the carbon dioxide.

The US Department of Energy is now working with ConocoPhillips on a field trial in Alaska to test whether the technique can be scaled up. The USGS believes that the technique could make it possible to sequester CO2.

Natural gas normally contains a percentage of CO2, which under industry regulations must be pumped back into the gas wells when it is extracted.

The first CO2 to be utilized in this methodology would be the CO2 'cleaned' from raw natural gas produced in nearby wells. The CO2 sequestered in the extraction of methane in ice will then be the stuff separated from conventional gas reservoirs.

Globally, there are over 1000 cubic meters of methane stored in hydrates which should be recoverable. Much of it is in sediments just below the sea floor, or trapped under permafrost. Some of the best-studied reservoirs are in Alaska, and beneath the Gulf of Mexico and the Sea of Japan.

The deposits on the North Slope of Alaska are among the richest. A 2008 USGS study showed that there are 2.4 trillion cubic meters (85 trillion cubic feet) of methane in hydrate form, which could be recovered using existing technology.


www.newscientist.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 11:53 AM
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I seem to be replying to your threads/posts a lot this week.


While this is being touted as 'carbon-neutral', it really is not in the long term,since the carbon dioxide which is locked up in the hydrate still exists, only in a (temporarily) trapped state. A truly carbon-free process would be one in which no additional carbon dioxide is produced from the energy release in any form, or in which the same amount produced is offset by an equivalent amount being changed to a more pure state of solid carbon.

Still, it sounds like a good source of energy, and for that one reason alone should be utilized as best as we can do (and we apparently can utilize it effectively). Now let's see if those behind it have enough money to buy the government officials off, oops, I mean buy the carbon credits to use it.

Silly me, I got tongue-tied there...

TheRedneck



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 12:06 PM
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Reply to post by The Redneck

Looks like we're on the same topic today. I'll find some September 11 or Nibiru story next.


The thing about methane is that it burns cleaner than any other fossil fuel.

The sequestered CO2 would pretty much equal that released from methane combustion or catalyzation.

Of course, the CO2 would come from traditionl oil/gas production which always carries carbon dioxide with it.

But, I don't see why "scrubbed" CO2 from other sources couldn't be used as well as soon as efficient delivery systems can be set up.

jw



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 12:12 PM
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How we ever managed to demonize carbon, which is the basis of life, is beyond me (well not really, but that is a rhetorical introduction).

Interesting article about using methane trapped in ice deposits.

But far more interesting--and potentially revolutionary--are a number or recent announcements about using bio/nanotech to create bacterium that convert carbon dioxide into methane with near-perfect efficiency.

There goes the whole carbon-is-bad/global-warming boogie-man, made superfluous by a technology with a supremely pointed sense of irony.



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 12:24 PM
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reply to post by jdub297


You're on your own with Nibiru. I hear someone is gonna make it a non-smoking planet, so I guess I'll just hang around here.


A lot of my post was intended to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Yeah, insering CO2 to extract CH4 is a great idea, and methane is a good fuel source. I was serious when I said this is a good idea. But to even be concerned about the carbon neutrality of it is silly in the first place. There will be more carbon dioxide after the process than before, only some of it will be locked away in hydrate 'cages'. These 'cages' are exactly what alarmists are worried about when they mention tipping points releasing aquatic CO2 into the atmosphere. Any variation in temperature, salinity, or even mechanical disturbance of the molecules will allow whatever is trapped to escape. The molecular arrangement is barely stable.

Not to mention, as gottago says, we shouldn't be overly concerned about carbon neutrality, when there are many sulfates and nitrates that are much more harmful to life and health, and in a much more proven capacity.

So while I agree that this is a great idea, the mention of it being carbon-neutral is inaccurate and I wonder how the political arena will welcome this process. It appears they are at least considering it, or it would already have been demonized.

TheRedneck



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by gottago
 
Then we invite a completely different group of "environmentalists" to moan about GMO fuel and the possiblity of contamination.

I don't think we can win this anytime soon.

jw



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 02:40 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
Now let's see if those behind it have enough money to buy the government officials off, oops, I mean buy the carbon credits to use it.

Silly me, I got tongue-tied there...

TheRedneck


Same difference, no? Isn't that what it amounts to? The UK now has credits that are worth less than 1/5 of what they were a year ago.

The carbon credit market doesn't work so well when consumption falls, as we shall see for ourselves.

jw



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