What can be done?

What is known about methane hydrates, about their behaviour and their distribution along with the geological data of the past, suggest caution in the race to utilize these compounds for the production of methane. The exploitation of these enormous energy reserves could temporarily solve many energetic problems and help in the difficult transition phase between the utilization of fossil fuels and the use of renewable energy sources. However, the environmental risks connected to an indiscriminate exploitation that does not respect the environment seem very high. Commercial exploitation must therefore be postponed till when state of the art technologies can protect us from the most serious risk: the release of great quantities of methane into the sea and the atmosphere.
Moreover, the possible risk of triggering off great underwater landslides on a vast scale must not be forgotten.
The presence of compounds with such particular and unstable characteristics, that are so sensitive to the slightest variation in temperature keeps us on guard as far as man’s contribution to the greenhouse effect is concerned: it is true that geological data show that climate changes on a large scale and environmental and climatic ‘crises’ at a planetary level have occurred in the geological past without any involvement on man’s part, but our behaviour could give a decisive contribution to sparking off these processes that, once started, could prove to be irreversible.

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Facts

  • Some curiosities about methane hydrates

    The melting of the ice cells, not only brings about the release of methane gas, but it also produces another…

    Orimulsion

    In order to improve supply security, and therefore the diversification of sources to produce electric energy...

    Cracking operations

    At the end of the fractional distillation, long hydrocarbon molecules can be transformed into lighter molecules by means of more…

  • Where does energy come from?

    Every day the Earth receives enough solar energy to satisfy the global energy need...

    Electricity and electrons

    In all electric plants, excluding photovoltaic solar plants, mechanic energy is transformed into electric energy through the same basic procedure...

    Peat and peat-bogs

    The age of coal starts towards the mid 1600s, stimulated by the need for finding an alternative energy source to…

  • Geographical distribution of energy

    Every day the Earth receives enough solar energy to satisfy the global energy need. Unfortunately we cannot exploit all this…

    An artificial geyser

    Electric and thermal power produced from geothermal energy depend on the existence of underground infiltrations...

    A hydrogen house

    In Settimo, a municipality close to Turin, the first Unité d’Abitation has been created...

  • 14 June 2011

    Some curiosities about methane hydrates

    The melting of the ice cells, not only brings about the release of methane gas, but it also produces another…

    2 March 2011

    Orimulsion

    In order to improve supply security, and therefore the diversification of sources to produce electric energy...

  • Cracking operations

    At the end of the fractional distillation, long hydrocarbon molecules can be transformed into lighter molecules by means of more…

    Where does energy come from?

    Every day the Earth receives enough solar energy to satisfy the global energy need...

  • Electricity and electrons

    In all electric plants, excluding photovoltaic solar plants, mechanic energy is transformed into electric energy through the same basic procedure...

    Peat and peat-bogs

    The age of coal starts towards the mid 1600s, stimulated by the need for finding an alternative energy source to…

  • 14 June 2011

    Some curiosities about methane hydrates

    The melting of the ice cells, not only brings about the release of methane gas, but it also produces another…

  • 2 March 2011

    Orimulsion

    In order to improve supply security, and therefore the diversification of sources to produce electric energy...

  • Cracking operations

    At the end of the fractional distillation, long hydrocarbon molecules can be transformed into lighter molecules by means of more…