Klaus Wallman SUGARcoats Methane Hydrates
Prof. Dr. Klaus Wallmann (IFM-GEOMAR Research Center in Kiel) presented the SUGAR project. Launched in the summer 2008, the SUGAR project (Submarine Gas Hydrate Reservoirs) aims to produce natural gas from marine methane hydrates and to sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants and other industrial sources as CO2-hydrate in marine sediments. This large-scale national project is funded by two federal ministries and German industries. The total funding is 13 Mio. € over an initial funding period of three years. Klaus Wallman highlighted the existence of vast amounts of natural gas (methane) bound in marine gas hydrates (~3000 Gt of carbon) as large as the total inventory of carbon in all known coal, oil, and gas deposits. In addition, Prof. Wallman stressed the win-win nature of such a project as it combines methane extraction and CO2 injection in the seabed reducing the CO2 in the atmosphere. Additionally, recent studies showed that the methane hydrates are less and less stable due to increase of sea temperature liberating more and more methane. He concluded, however, that this technology is an early stage of development and would benefit from a European wide research effort as it is been the case in Germany. A mapping study on the location and potential of methane hydrates in the seas of Europe could be a good start.
[ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/] – Energy from the ocean -Emerging technologies
German language interview with Klaus Wallman.