Researchers have discovered “methane hydrates” —a potential fuel of the future!
Just two meters below the sea floor in the Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin off the coast of Andhra Pradesh in the Bay of Bengal, exists “methane hydrates”
Methane hydrate, which is formed at low temperature and high pressure, is a solid crystal structure of water within which a large amount of methane gas is trapped.
The discovery has been reported by a team of scientists from the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa and the National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad in the Journal of Earth System Science published by the Indian Academy of Sciences.
“This is the first report on the discovery of an active methane seepage site and the occurrence of shallow methane hydrate deposits in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),” they report.
This is a new and completely untapped reservoir of fossil fuel, because it contains, as its name suggests, a large quantity of methane, which is the main component of natural gas.
“With an estimated trillions of cubic meters of methane gas available in the gas hydrate deposits in the Indian waters, gas hydrates can be the future source of energy for India,” the Ministry of Earth Sciences, says on its website.
“The present discovery has brought India on to the global cold seep map and opened up the opportunity for future research on the possible role of methane emission on global warming, ocean acidification, extreme ecosystem, and bio-prospecting,” they conclude.