Natural gas, composed mostly of methane, is the cleanest of all the fossil fuels, emitting 25-50% less carbon dioxide than either oil or coal for each unit of energy produced. In recent years, natural gas supplied approximately 20-25% of all energy consumed in the United States. Methane hydrate is a potentially enormous and as yet untapped source of methane. The Department of Energy's Methane Hydrate Research and Development Program has been tasked since 2000 to implement and coordinate a national methane hydrate research effort to stimulate the development of knowledge and technology necessary for commercial production of methane from methane hydrate in a safe and environmentally responsible way.
Realizing the Energy Potential of Methane Hydrate for the United States evaluates the program's research projects and management processes since its congressional re-authorization in 2005, and presents recommendations for its future research and development initiatives.
Table of Contents
|1 Methane Hydrate Research in the United States||13-30|
|2 State of the Science: Recent Advances and Current Challenges in Methane Hydrate Research||31-82|
|3 Review of Central Research Efforts Within the Methane Hydrate Research and Development Program||83-108|
|4 Coordinating Process for the Methane Hydrate Research and Development Program||109-132|
|5 Conclusions and Recommendations||133-138|
|Appendix A: Legislative Authorization Language H.R. 6 – Energy Policy Act of 2005 Section 968. Methane Hydrate Research||141-148|
|Appendix B: Committee and Staff Biographical Sketches||149-156|
|Appendix C: Presentations to the Committee||157-158|
|Appendix D: Comparison of Units of Measurement of Amounts of Methane by Volume and Weight||159-160|
|Appendix E: Program Authorizations and Appropriations FY 2000-2010||161-162|
|Appendix F: Project Summary Table||163-184|
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