Planet Gore

Re: Thaw, Baby, Thaw

An engineer-reader offers the following:

There are huge hydrate deposits all over the world – sometimes the stuff is found just lying in large deposits on the sea floor. The problem with hydrate is extracting it. You either have to heat it (hydrate “ice” will form at higher pressures at temperatures up to 70° F) or lower the pressure or both. Both processes are energy intensive. The heating part is obvious. The low pressure option involves the subsequent compression that has to be supplied to move and deliver the gas. You can also use extractants like methanol or ethylene glycol but that poses other problems. 
A lot of people have been and will continue to work on finding cost effective ways to exploit the stuff but it’s still off somewhere in the future. You’ll probably be more likely to see commercial oil shale come on line before you’ll see gas hydrate commercially produced.

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