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Gas Hydrates as a Carbon Capture Material and Possible Influence on Climate Change

Principal Investigator(s): 

Abstract: 

Gas hydrates can act both as a negative and positive feedback to global warming. The vast amount of methane stored in the seafloor and permafrost, if released, could add a tremendous amount of a more potent greenhouse gas (CH4) than CO2. Carbon isotope studies have suggested that this has occurred during previous periods of global warming. However, hydrates also offer a potential way to safely store CO2 in the seafloor.

The safe and long term storage of industrial carbon dioxide is an important concern for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. CO2 storage in hydrates within the seafloor or in old petroleum wells offer a stable and long term means for carbon capture. It is important to understand the stability and composition of the gas in hydrate during sequesterization. Research will involve thermodynamic modeling and development of a mass transfer model to predict the stability of CO2 hydrates at various geophysical/geochemical conditions. In addition, seafloor and permafrost models will be tested and further developed to determine how climate changes may alter the stability of methane hydrates and release to the atmosphere.