Sometimes described as “flammable ice,” hydrates consist of water molecules that create cages around “guest molecules” such as methane, which is one carbon atom bonded with four hydrogen atoms, a principal component of natural gas.
Vast stores of hydrates exist in subsurface sediments of permafrost and deep oceans and are considered a major potential energy resource. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the total amount of carbon captured in methane hydrate, worldwide, is at least twice the total amount held in fossil fuels. The flux of hydrates in the environment may play a role in the global carbon cycle and long-term climate patterns.
NIST researchers spent three years combing the literature on gas hydrates and comparing and evaluating data collected in experiments by numerous sources. The database contains about 12,000 individual data points for about 150 compounds spanning 400 different chemical systems. The data include phase equilibria (proportions of solid, liquid and gas phases in a material at a given temperature and pressure) and thermophysical property information such as thermal conductivity.
The NIST web interface also provides the first electronic access to scientific results from the 2002 Mallik research well in Canada, an international geophysical experiment exploring the properties of naturally occurring hydrates and the feasibility of using them as energy resources.
The new database is meant for use by climate modelers, researchers studying the potential recovery of hydrates for practical applications and the petroleum industry, which has long been interested in preventing unprocessed hydrates from infiltrating natural gas pipelines.
The NIST gas hydrates web site uses technology that acts like a desktop computer application. Whereas traditional web interfaces do most of their work on a file server, transmitting information slowly to clients over network connections, the new NIST web interface provides fast, customized service by doing much of the data sorting and presentation on client computers.
NIST developed the database in association with CODATA (the international Committee on Data for Science and Technology). Funding was provided by the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy.
The database is available at http://gashydrates.nist.gov.
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy