MAY 01, 2018 4:25 PM PDT

Methane Clathrate the Forbidden Fuel

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

Methane clathrate, also known as methane hydrate or fire ice, a naturally existing solid compound that brings together two unlikely companions: water and methane gas. Water molecules form a "cage" that traps methane inside, at a ratio of 23 to 4.

The conditions that allow methane clathrate to form are low temperature and high pressure. Significant deposits have been discovered under continental sedimentary rocks in the polar area as well as beneath the ocean floor at the depths over 1000 feet.

This clear, crystal-like flammable solid compound seems like a perfect candidate for clean fuel since it shares the essential component with natural gas. But methane can exert 25 times stronger greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide. Concerns around global climate change, as well as lack of efficient mining methods, have been deterring the commercial-scale production of methane clathrate.

Source: ACSReaction via Youtube

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
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