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Methane as a fuel?

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Does Methane hold any value as a viable alternative fuel?

 

Methane's relative abundance and clean burning process makes it a very attractive fuel. However, because it is a gas (at normal temperature and pressure) and not a liquid or solid, methane is difficult to transport from the areas that produce it to the areas that consume it. Converting methane to derivatives that are more easily transported, such as methanol, is an active area of research. Certain microorganisms can effect this selective oxidation using enzymes called methane monooxygenases.

 

Seems like it would be simple enough to make it into fuel, except that I don't know how efficient it is compared to gas, and it seems rather volatile; somewhere between hydrogen and gasoline, correct?:)

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I run my cooker on it. It is a multi billion dollar industry. What do you mean by alternative?

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I run my cooker on it. It is a multi billion dollar industry. What do you mean by alternative?

 

probably to replace fuel for generating electricity and running automobiles.

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I run my cooker on it. It is a multi billion dollar industry. What do you mean by alternative?

 

probably to replace fuel for generating electricity and running automobiles.

 

Exactly.

 

Seems like it would be a lot easier to get at and is very renewable; I think some bacteria produce it.

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Methane is just a fancy way of saying natural gas. It really isn't renewable that I know of -- they mine it out of the ground in much the same way you drill for oil.

 

In fact, methane in the ground is actually oil that has been "roasted" bellow a certain depth in the Earth's crust -- most of the carbon chains get riped off it or something. Above a certain level you hit oil. Below it you hit natural gas.

 

Transporting it is relatively easy though. You can run cars on methane -- they've been doing it sense the 80s. It was at one time considered a viable alternative to gas-powered automobiles. The idea was that you would just fill up your car from home on your own gas line. Methane gets transported in such a strong container that if you were to wreck, your car would actually bend around the methane before it would burst and explode (it's considered safer then gas, but the reason it's safer is because of how explosive it is -- the law requires you store it in tanks with certain specifications).

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Methane is just a fancy way of saying natural gas. It really isn't renewable that I know of -- they mine it out of the ground in much the same way you drill for oil.

 

the majority of natural gas is obtained that way. It is also produced by bacteria.

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I wonder how feasible large-scale renewable (e.g., from bacteria) production would be. Perhaps using sewage? I don't know. We probably wouldn't see those kinds of efforts until after "peak natural gas," anyway.

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I wonder how feasible large-scale renewable (e.g., from bacteria) production would be. Perhaps using sewage? I don't know. We probably wouldn't see those kinds of efforts until after "peak natural gas," anyway.

 

It's being done to power local projects. Farms run on the natural gas produced by cattle and landfills running their recycling plants on the methane produced by garbage decomposition.

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Don't swamps also have a lot of bacteria that produce methane? I'm thinking that large scale production of methane could be done by creating large microbial mats and maybe left over animal waste and sewage.

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There are plenty of full-scale electricity generating stations that run on methane. At the moment it is natural gas but, if the price of methane from, for example, sewage or landfill gas, became cheap and plentiful they could easilly use that. A search on "biogas" will give you more info.

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