Gas Hydrates

*Gas Hydrates*, helpful or hurtful?
Gas Hydrates are considered an annoyance due to one main reason, it clogs pipelines transporting oil or natural gas. Clearing Hydrates from pipelines costs the companies around 100 million of dollars each year due to the materials needed to clean the pipelines and the time it takes. The pipelines proves to be an eminent place where Gas Hydrates can flourish.(gastechnology) There are only three known ways to counteract and dispose of Gas Hydrates, use an inhibitor (either alcohol, glycol, methanol, or ionic salts), apply heat, and dehydrate the hydrate. With these methods costing millions of dollars to the oil and natural gas companies, scientists are looking for a more cost effective method of exterminating the Hydrate from the pipelines.
Scientists hope that one day, Gas hydrates could be used to store fossil fuels under the earth’s crust. They hope that carbon dioxide would be able to bond with the hydrate and could be stored. This plan is still in its early stages because there is fear that is the hydrate is separated from the fossil fuel, then it would travel up onto the earth’s atmosphere, harming the environment in between. Another fear is that when the gasses are traveling to the surface of the ocean of body of water, then it will create a foam-like substance, taking the density away from the water underneath, causing a ship or object to submerge if floating over. (woodshole) This plan is still in its premature stages, but in time, Gas Hydrates may prove to be more helpful than hurtful.
Works Cited:
1)Fire and Ice: The Problems and Promise of Gas Hydrates." Gas Technology  
2)"Gas Hydrates." United States Geological Survey. The United States Government,
14 Aug. 2009. Web. 25 Oct. 2009. ."An Introduction to Gas Hydrates." Telusplanet. N.p., 2007. Web. 25 Oct. 2009....