Large amounts of methane exist in the earth in the form of natural gas hydrates (NGH), an ice-like substance with hydrocarbon molecules trapped within by water cages. The amount of carbon stored as NGH is more than twice the carbon content present in all fossil fuels combined. It has been demonstrated that conventional gas production techniques can be employed to produce energy from natural gas hydrates. Thermal stimulation, depressurization or a combination of both these methods are the approaches to recover natural gas. One innovative and promising solution to secure the future energy needs and mitigate carbon dioxide emissions simultaneously is to replace methane trapped in the gas hydrate deposits with carbon dioxide. There are specific challenges like sand and water management during energy production that needs to be overcome/mitigated to sustain methane production from NGH. Thus, there is an overwhelming need to pursue research and development at laboratories in order to exploit this huge resource in the future. In this work, the state-of-the-art experimental and simulation work on methane production from natural gas hydrates carried out at the National University of Singapore will be summarized and future directions and challenges will be outlined.
Keywords: gas hydrates; energy recovery; methane hydrates; thermal stimulation; depressurization; carbon dioxide fixation; numerical simulation.
Dr. Praveen LINGA is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He is also the co-lead for natural gas research at the Centre for Energy Research & Technology (CERT) in NUS. He is a visiting professor of Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences China. He also serves as an Associate Editor in the Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering (Elsevier UK) and in the Editorial Board of Natural Gas Industry B. His research interests are in the areas of clathrate (gas) hydrates, flow assurance, storage and transport of fuels, desalination, carbon capture storage & utilization (CCS & U) and energy recovery. His research group at NUS particularly focuses on enhancing the kinetics of hydrate formation for several systems of interest pertaining to carbon dioxide capture, storage of natural gas/hydrogen as clathrate hydrates and seawater desalination. Up to date, he has published more than 85 research articles and delivered more than 50 keynote/invited talks and seminars. His research has received several “most cited paper” awards from reputed journals in engineering and energy domain. He has secured competitive research grants to the tune of about S$ 9.5 million in the past five years. He has received many awards including the prestigious Donald W. Davidson Award for outstanding contributions to gas hydrate research conferred at the international conference on gas hydrates in Denver in 2017, NUS Young Researcher Award in 2017, Energies Young Investigator Award in 2017. He has been the most sought out expert in international news media on gas hydrates including BBC News, Channel News Asia etc. Overall, he has an h index of 34 and his research has been cited more than 4100 times. For more information about his research, please visit: http://gashydrates.chbe.nus.edu.sg
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