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Methane

Death trap

Issue Date: May 15, 1998
nearly 63 miners died in a methane gas explosion which took place in the Skochinsky coalmine, Donetsk, Ukraine. This was one of the Ukraine's worst mining disasters. Some 600 persons were working when the methane blast ripped the pit. Rescue teams had to burrow through 300 metres of rubble, 1.2 kilometres below ground to reach survivors. Most of the miners died either in the explosion or suffocated.

Marsh gas rising

Issue Date: Nov 30, 1997
emission of methane from polluted wetlands exceeds that from non-polluted wetlands by as much as two or three times.

Lethal leaks

Issue Date: Jun 30, 1996
AN ESTIMATED 35 million tonnes of methane goes up into the atmosphere each year, thanks to leaks in Russian gas pipelines and wellheads, says an unpublished report from Russian researchers. This comes to around a tenth of all anthropogenic emissions of the gas, second only to carbon dioxide as a cause of global warming. The amount of methane in the atmosphere has doubled since pre-industrial times and every year, its measure goes up by 0.6 per cent. According to a new study of the science of climate change, published by the UN'S Intergovernmental Panel on' Climate

Electrifying vapours

Issue Date: Mar 31, 1996
The largest methane gas collection programme in the world has begun at a huge sewage treatment plant at Werribee near Melbourne, Australia. The plant is expected to generate 800 KW of electricity. Sewage at the plant is treated in ponds in a two- phased process. The first is by an aerobic bacteria which breaks down sewage and generates methane, carbon dioxide and odorous gases. In the second process, mechanical aerators introduce oxygen into the sewage. Gas is collected from the ponds by a system of plastic pipes which are up to 500 mm in diameter.

Drilling down the dumps

Issue Date: Jan 31, 1996
SINCE July last year, the municipal garbage dump at Gladokvarn, outside Stockholm, has been yielding gas at the rate of 22,000 in per day from gas wells up to 20 in deep. The gas is carried via a 13 km-long pipeline to a 5 mw heating plant which, in turn, supplies central heating to the nearby Skogas housing estate - enough to heat some 2,500 single-family houses. It is a well known fact that household garbage, compacted over long periods of time, creates large quantities of

Gas on demand

Issue Date: Nov 30, 1995
NATURAL gas is formed under the earth's surface when organic debris, under conditions of high temperature and pressure breaks down into methane and other smaller hydrocarbon molecules. Similar conditions simulated in the laboratory did not yield the requisite percentage of methane in the end product. Whereas natural gas contains 80 per cent methane, best results obtained in the laboratory did not exceed 60 per cent. For three years, geologist Frank Mango from the Rice University in

Icy fuel

Issue Date: Nov 30, 1995
Ice that burns could provide immense energy A! future, if only scientists co figure out how to g ground. Gas hydrate, mainly fro methane, may contain twicel much energy as all fossil fuels P together. But it exists several hundred metres below the f1 and fizzes away when brought the surface, said a panel of expe at a meeting of the Ameri:3 Association for the Advancement of Science (Earth, June 1994dw Harvesting gas hydrate also raises concerns about how the methaned released into the atmosphere, might contribute to the greenhouse effect.

A lot of gas

Issue Date: Feb 28, 1995
RICE staple diet of a large part of the world, was not entirely benign. Paddy fields, existing predominantly in tropical developing countries that account for about 90 per cent of globsl rice production, have been blamed for producing vast quantities of global-warming methane.

Cooking disaster, for free

Author(s): Koshy Cherail
Issue Date: Feb 15, 1995
VIDYAVATI is a happy housewife today. Free cooking gas runs in her kitchen through the day. A 3-inch cement pipe, reaching down 10 feet below her kitchen and into a garbage dump brings gas to her. But her happiness could be short-lived. Recent incidents indicate that she and her friends, residing in the Vidya Vihar hutments of west Delhi, could be cooking disaster.

Heating pools

Issue Date: Aug 15, 1994
BEAVERS, known for their ingenuity at damming small streams using branches, are unwittingly contributing to global warming (New Scientist, Vol 142, No 1931).
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