Source Newsroom: Cornell University
Paulette Clancy, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Cornell University, comments on today’s news of Japan’s successful extraction of natural gas from deposits of offshore methane hydrate.
“This is an important development. The known global resources of methane hydrates are enormous and they represent a promising source of 'clean' energy, since they contain only natural gas components and water."
"However, this extraction has to be done with care since methane is a powerful greenhouse gas if released into the atmosphere. Global resources of natural gas hydrates are found in abundance in deep ocean trenches and in the permafrost, where, if global warming continues, they threaten to be released as the ice melts and release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere."
"This development is significant because it opens the door to determine if, as has been speculated, we can extract the methane hydrates and replace them with carbon dioxide hydrates, thus acquiring a clean energy source and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere at the same time."
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