Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chemists create 'powdered methane'

Gas can be stored in dry water
Philip Ball

Methane and natural gas are usually shipped around in pressurized pipelines and canisters. But chemists have now developed a new way to transport the gases: as a powder.

Andrew Cooper and his colleagues at the University of Liverpool, UK, have found that they can trap methane in a bizarre material dubbed 'dry water', a mixture of silica and water that looks and acts like a fine white powder1. The methane reacts with the water to produce a crystalline material called methane gas hydrate, in which individual methane molecules sit inside ice-like cages of water molecules.

Source: Nature News

Courtesy: Dr S Vasudevan

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