Occupational Health & Safety

DOE Harvests Methane in Alaska as Energy Alternative

A vast reservoir of methane hydrate, an alternative energy solution, has been discovered in Alaska.

While it may look like ice, methane hydrate may be the next alternative energy source and a reservoir of this substance has been discovered in Alaska. The Department of Energy, along with some industry partners, have been drilling in Alaska over the past two years to prepare for a methane need in the future.

Frozen into ice, methane burns like a candle. The DOE is working to harvest this substance as an alternative to oil or coal usage. Currently, natural gas is an abundant energy source, one that the government may began exporting. However, harvesting methane might solve energy needs in years to come.

Through partnering together, the DOE and energy companies have invested nearly $29 million into harvesting methane hydrate in Alaska. Over the past two yearly, 1 million cubic feet of th substance has been extracted. Researchers now move to study the reservoir's response to extraction.

Methane hydrate is a lattice of ice that has methane trapped inside. As the molecules are warmed, methane, a natural gas is released.

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