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Author Topic: Can we trap methane as it's released from permafrost?  (Read 6401 times)

Offline bl8ant

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2bl8ant asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Is there anything being done to somehow trap the methane as it is released from the permafrost? and when Mt Redoubt blew, did the ash that travelled have any kind of effect in terms of accelerating the thaw?

Is there anything that can be organically introduced to neutralise or contain
the methane?

What do you think?


 

Offline Atomic-S

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Can we trap methane as it's released from permafrost?
« Reply #1 on: 20/06/2009 07:04:51 »
I wouldn't know, but if methane being released is increasing global warming, could this indicate that all the efforts to eliminate carbon dioxide from civilization may not stop the process? As for volcanoes, it is pretty obvious, I think, that there must be a contribution from them. It is inevitable. Can man do anything to stop these things? It would appear a difficult task.
 

Offline Karsten

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Can we trap methane as it's released from permafrost?
« Reply #2 on: 27/06/2009 02:00:10 »
If this is an issue that is considered important and man is capable to recognize it, they would deal with it before it actually warms the areas that are currently permanently frozen. Does not look like it, does it? We cannot even deal with the CO2. Sorry, I am pessimistic this life.
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Can we trap methane as it's released from permafrost?
« Reply #3 on: 27/06/2009 10:01:13 »
Buy this weeks edition of New Scientist. The cover article is on methane clathrates and successful attempts to produce methane from these in commercial quantities.

Most interesting to me was the approach whereby the methane in the clathrate is replaced by carbon dioxide, yielding a more stable structure.Not only do we get lots of lovely methane to burn (that generates less carbon dioxide per BTU of energy produced by burning other hydrocarbons), but we can sequester an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide.

Or go here for the full article.

 

Offline Mazurka

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Can we trap methane as it's released from permafrost?
« Reply #4 on: 01/07/2009 15:41:55 »
Relatively simple technology exists to capture the methane - it has been done on landfill sites for a number of years. It is simplest form, a plastic membrane (cap) is constructed over the landfill and the gases (mainly methane and carbon dioxide)are then sucked out to prevent them poluting the environment.  (This gas is then used to fuel generators or flared off).

The cap serves two purposes - firstly it keeeps the methane in and secondly it keeps oxygen out. If air (oxygen) mixes with the (landfill) gas, a flamable / explosive mixture can arise. I would imagine that simply putting pipes into the tundra to draw the gas out would encounter similar problems.

The drawback of capping the tundra is the cost of covering the tundra with a giant bin bag would be prohibitively expensive.  Also for UV resistance the cap material is black, which may also have the effect of lowering the albedo of the areas covered - which would increase rates of local warming.

 

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Can we trap methane as it's released from permafrost?
« Reply #4 on: 01/07/2009 15:41:55 »

 

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