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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Utilization of Integrated electrochemical devices for in-situ methane hydrate recovery in deep ocean sediments

  • Author(s): Azizi, Mohammad Ali
  • Advisor(s): Brouwer, Jacob
  • et al.
Abstract

Significant amounts of methane exist in the form of methane hydrates in deep ocean sediments. Utilizing these energy sources could meet the growing U.S. energy demand, reduce dependency on foreign fuel supplies, and move toward lower greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emitting energy sources. Despite the great interest in this amount of stored fuel resources, these resources have not yet been significantly utilized because there is no energy efficient method for recovery of methane hydrates.

The primary goal of the this study is to evaluate the feasibility of integrating and using electrochemical devices to accomplish energy efficient dissociation of methane hydrate gases in deep ocean sediments. Concepts for integrating electrochemical devices (e.g., fuel cells), efficient electricity production from released gases are developed. The technical feasibility of these integrated systems for operation in hydrate reservoirs in deep ocean sediments will be evaluated using thermodynamic and heat transfer methods.

To meet the project goal, five formal objectives are evaluated: 1) Evaluate electrochemical devices based upon performance characteristics for use in integrated systems for methane hydrate dissociation, 2) Conceptualize integrated system cycles comprised of electrochemical devices to operate in a methane hydrate field, 3) Develop integrated systems models for each of the integrated cycles, 4) Accomplish thermodynamic analyses of electrochemical cycle concepts including system , and 5) Detailed and dynamic evaluation of the best performing concepts and comparison to traditional methods.

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