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IIT Madras developing new techniques for methane extraction



The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) on Tuesday said its researchers are developing new techniques for extracting methane from natural gas hydrates.

In a statement issued here, IITM said promising results from their research have been published recently in leading international journals such as Energy and Fuels and Applied Energy.

According to IITM, there has been worldwide interest in the development of techniques to extract methane gas trapped in ice-like crystalline cages called ‘gas hydrates’, which are present in shallow sediments along continental coastlines.

“Hydrates are particularly promising methane sources in India because nearly 1,900 trillion cubic meters of methane gas lie untapped in these cages within the waters of the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone,” IITM said.

According to the institute, this methane is 1,500 times more than the country’s current gas reserves. The Ministry of Earth Sciences reports that Krishna-Godavari and Andaman basins have large amounts of gas hydrates.

The IIT Madras research towards developing techniques to extract methane from gas hydrates can enable indigenous supply of natural gas and potentially lighten the nation’s natural gas import burden, the statement said.

The research is being headed by IITM Department of Ocean Engineering Professor (Petroleum Engineering) Jitendra Sangwai who studies state-of-the-art processes used to recover crude oil from offshore reservoirs in India. The other members of the research team are Pawan Gupta and Vishnu C.

 The research is being funded by IITM and Department of Science and Technology (DST).

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