ECOLOGICAL PROBLEMS OF GAS HYDRATES

Depletion of gas and oil reserves spurs the search for alternative sources of hydrocarbons. In this respect, the deposits of gas hydrates are assumed to be the most promising. Natural gas occurs in a solid compound with water in such reservoirs. This is a sort of “combustible ice” with methane molecules reliably enclosed in a network of ice cells made of water molecules. According to most researchers both in Russia and abroad, energy potential of gas hydrates on the Earth exceeds the potential of all fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal). The ecological aspect is governed by the fact that gas hydrates are the component of the geological environment extremely sensitive to induced alterations, which contributes to the enhancement of greenhouse effect when methane releases from gas hydrates into atmosphere under anthropogenic climate fluctuation. Methane content of gas hydrates in the world exceeds methane content of atmosphere by a few orders of magnitude. Methane present in the atmosphere enhances the greenhouse effect. Gas hydrates under temperatures and pressures approaching gas hydrate decomposition conditions are very environmentally hazardous: —under thermal disequilibrium, released methane can greatly heighten the greenhouse effect.

Keywords

Gas hydrates, methane, hydrocarbons, resources, energy potential, permafrost, shelf, greenhouse effect, atmosphere.

Issue number: 11
Year: 2018
ISBN:
UDK: 553.981
DOI: 10.25018/0236-1493-2018-11-0-77-91
Authors: Gudzenko V. T., Varenichev A. A., Gromova M. P.

About authors: Gudzenko V.T., Candidate of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences, Head of Department, Varenichev A.A., Candidate of Technical Sciences, Senior Researcher, Head of Department, e-mail: avar@viniti.ru, Gromova M.P.1, Deputy Head of Division, All-Russian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information of Russian Academy of Sciences (VINITI), 125190, Moscow, Russia.

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