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Permanent Sequestration of Emitted Gases in the Form of Clathrate HydratesUnderground sequestration has been proposed as a novel method of permanent disposal of harmful gases emitted into the atmosphere as a result of human activity. The method was conceived primarily for disposal of carbon dioxide (CO2, greenhouse gas causing global warming), but could also be applied to CO, H2S, NOx, and chorofluorocarbons (CFCs, which are super greenhouse gases). The method is based on the fact that clathrate hydrates (e.g., CO2 6H2O) form naturally from the substances in question (e.g., CO2) and liquid water in the pores of sub-permafrost rocks at stabilizing pressures and temperatures. The proposed method would be volumetrically efficient: In the case of CO2, each volume of hydrate can contain as much as 184 volumes of gas. Temperature and pressure conditions that favor the formation of stable clathrate hydrates exist in depleted oil reservoirs that lie under permafrost. For example, CO2-6H2O forms naturally at a temperature of 0 C and pressure of 1.22 MPa. Using this measurement, it has been calculated that the minimum thickness of continuous permafrost needed to stabilize CO2 clathrate hydrate is only about 100 m, and the base of the permafrost is known to be considerably deeper at certain locations (e.g., about 600 m at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska). In this disposal method, the permafrost layers over the reservoirs would act as impermeable lids that would prevent dissociation of the clathrates and diffusion of the evolved gases up through pores.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Document Type
Other - NASA Tech Brief
Duxbury, N.
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Romanovsky, V.
(Alaska Univ. Fairbanks, AK, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Tech Briefs, February 2004
Subject Category
Environment Pollution
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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