1. Joined
    26 May '08
    Moves
    2120
    26 Jun '09 19:00
    This is an article about tapping clathrates on the sea floor to extract the methane from them and use it as a fossil fuel:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227141.100-ice-on-fire-the-next-fossil-fuel.html?full=true

    I particularly like the part where it says:

    “…There might in fact be a safer way of tapping clathrates which, if successful, could quash the criticisms. Since other gases can also form clathrates, it should be possible to pump one of these gases into the crystals to displace the methane. Carbon dioxide would be an ideal candidate, says Ersland - the resulting crystal is even more stable than methane clathrate, meaning another greenhouse gas would be stored out of harm's way….”

    -so it may be possible to burn this fossil fuel but then immediately perform carbon burial of all the resulting CO2 produced from burning it thus, making it, in effect, a carbon-neutral fossil fuel! -I think this possibility is definitely worth looking into!
  2. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
    Joined
    28 Dec '04
    Moves
    52619
    08 Jul '09 00:41
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    This is an article about tapping clathrates on the sea floor to extract the methane from them and use it as a fossil fuel:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227141.100-ice-on-fire-the-next-fossil-fuel.html?full=true

    I particularly like the part where it says:

    “…There might in fact be a safer way of tapping clathrates which, if successf ...[text shortened]... fect, a carbon-neutral fossil fuel! -I think this possibility is definitely worth looking into!
    The big 64 trillion dollar question of course is how far can you commercialize it, that is to say how much actual volume or mass of fuel can you produce? Don't forget, the stuff is at the bottom of some of the deepest oceans on earth. And it is only in little clumps so you have to do some kind of sweep mining thing and how much can you collect that way? You would have to have a thousand ships just to get a decent start, all mining with maybe some kind of aquatic vacuum system on a 2 mile hose. Doesn't sound to me realistic for the huge amounts we would need.
  3. Joined
    26 May '08
    Moves
    2120
    08 Jul '09 10:50
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    The big 64 trillion dollar question of course is how far can you commercialize it, that is to say how much actual volume or mass of fuel can you produce? Don't forget, the stuff is at the bottom of some of the deepest oceans on earth. And it is only in little clumps so you have to do some kind of sweep mining thing and how much can you collect that way? You ...[text shortened]... uum system on a 2 mile hose. Doesn't sound to me realistic for the huge amounts we would need.
    I have heard somewhere that the capacity of methane from this source is probably vast but when I tried to google it (by putting ‘ Clathrates methane ocean floor “total capacity” ‘ into the search field) I couldn’t find a single site that would give an estimate.
    Can anyone give a site that gives a rough estimate?
  4. Standard memberflexmore
    Quack Quack Quack !
    Chesstralia
    Joined
    18 Aug '03
    Moves
    54533
    10 Jul '09 23:06
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    This is an article about tapping clathrates on the sea floor to extract the methane from them and use it as a fossil fuel:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227141.100-ice-on-fire-the-next-fossil-fuel.html?full=true

    I particularly like the part where it says:

    “…There might in fact be a safer way of tapping clathrates which, if successf ...[text shortened]... fect, a carbon-neutral fossil fuel! -I think this possibility is definitely worth looking into!
    that same article also has this:
    "So methane clathrate extraction seems to be imminent, in Asia at least. Whether it is desirable is another matter. Some argue that the world shouldn't be tapping a new fossil fuel while we are pledging to build a low-carbon economy. Methane might be less carbon intensive than fuels such as coal, but switching to methane would not help countries to reach ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions of up to 80 per cent by 2050.

    To make matters worse, the methane itself could exacerbate global warming if it starts leaking from the reserves. Methane is, molecule for molecule, 20 times as powerful at warming the air as CO2. Rising sea temperatures could melt some undersea clathrate reserves even without extraction projects disturbing them, triggering a release of this potent greenhouse gas. A decade ago, Peter Brewer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, California, showed how clathrates on the seabed just off the coast of California disappeared after an El Niño event raised ocean temperatures by 1 °C.

    Exploitation of clathrate reserves might exacerbate this problem, but it could also have far more immediate adverse effects. Clathrates exist in a delicate balance, and the worry is that as gas is extracted its pressure will break up neighbouring clathrate crystals. The result could be an uncontrollable chain reaction - a "methane burp" that could cascade through undersea reserves, triggering landslips and even tsunamis. "Extraction increases the risk of large-scale collapses, which might have catastrophic consequences," says Geir Erlsand from the University of Bergen in Norway."
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