Team develops model to determine stability of gas hydrates
Natural gas-hydrates—crystalline compounds of gas molecules—are found in permafrost and marine sediments. While these gas hydrates can be used as alternative energy resources, they also pose a danger in terms of global warming, if catastrophic release of gas into the atmosphere was to take place.
Patricia Taboada-Serrano and Yali Zhang, researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology, developed a comprehensive model to better validate location of gas-hydrate deposits in marine sediments. This information can be used to assess stability of the deposits, and the model can also provide predictive information about destabilization of those deposits due to variations in temperature.
The new model could benefit scientists who measure global climate patterns because they have an available model that predicts the stability of gas-hydrates more accurately. Some of the energy stored in these compounds is larger than the world-wide conventional natural gas reserves combined, said Zhang.