Good job bringing this to light. People won't realise how huge the problem is and municipalities are woefully ill equipped to...
Agreed; mining can never be sustainable, but then how do you get the metals to make all the things you need in the course of...
Very good piece.
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
Houston, us, tinkered with the idea and
hit upon the perfect recipe for natural gas
Was. He heated a mixture of large hydrocarbon molecules, hydrogen and carbonich rocks to 190'c. for several days,
with the resulting gas yielding a greater
proportion of methane. The rocks used
by Mango were similar to those found
in the neighboorhood of natural gas
pockets. These contained transition
metals like ruckle and vanadium, which
Mango believes act as catalysing agents
speeding up the breakdown process of
hydrocarbons into methane (New
Scientist, Vol 147, No 1996).
In living cells, transition metals are
present in concentrations of several
parts per million, but they have the
power to catalyse natural gas
formation. In the vast organic
deposits, where the natural gas
is formed, these metals can
accumulate to concentrations
of around 400 parts per million, thus increasing the efficiency of the process.
Though other geologists
agree with the basic procedure,
they caution that to simulate a
process in the lab which in
nature takes millions of years
to complete is very difficult.
Secondly, rock chemistry alone
may not be determining