Summary #1402

A fast and safe way to store natural gas
  • Using a newly devised method, natural gas can be converted to a non-explosive solid in just 15 minutes, the fastest time ever.
  • The solid form is called a gas hydrate, or “combustible ice” - natural gas molecules are trapped in “cages” formed by water molecules.
  • It’s the same way that nature stores natural gas, only it takes nature millions of years to create gas hydrates.
  • Other scientists used toxic substances to speed up this reaction, whereas here researchers used L-tryptophan, an essential amino-acid in our diets.
  • The end product is stable, can be stored in -5 degrees Celsius, and scientists are working towards commercializing this technology, and scaling it up for industrial use.


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