Looks like the next big energy growth industry is in extracting methane hydrates from oceanic deposits. “Scientists reckon there could be more valuable carbon fuel stored in the vast methane hydrate deposits scattered under the world’s seabed and Arctic permafrost than in all of the known reserves of coal, oil and gas put together.” That is, if you don’t mind the slight downsides:
“There are legitimate concerns that attempts to tap into these reserves could cause very widespread destabilisation of the seabed and damage to ecosystems,” he said. Methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, he said, and any released during production would make global warming worse.
Humans, please leave this stuff in the ocean. Fuels that increase global warming should not even be under consideration right now. Bushco, if you want to ban a science, leave stem cell research alone and ban extraction of methane hydrates instead.
One Reply to “Flammable Ice”
…if you want methane (whether it’s a good or bad fuel I’ll leave to others), anaerobic bacteria will happily make it from **it. This was a very promising appropriate technology (low-tech, high impact, human-scale) in the 60’s, especially for hugely dirty things like pig and chicken farms here and abroad. Feed all that daily output to a “digester” (nothing more than an airtight tank), and soon the right bacteria will multiply and bubble out methane. Pipe off the methane, store it, and it will burn directly in propane applications (you can refine it as well to remove sulfur and other bacterial byproducts). Once the effluent is “done”, it is nontoxic, nonsmelly, and great fertilizer. I always wondered why this simple “tech” didn’t go anywhere; I guess compared to wind, solar, nuke, biofuels, and getting every last drop of oil wherever it lies, it (**it) rates very low on the sexiness scale.