A team of University of Minnesota scientists has discovered how iron- and chromium-rich rocks can generate natural gas (methane) and related hydrocarbons when reacted with superheated fluids circulating deep beneath the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.
Because the process is completely nonbiological, the hydrocarbons could have been a source of "food" for some of the first organisms to inhabit the Earth. Also, methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and this process may have contributed to global warming early in geologic time, the researchers said. The researchers--Dionysios Foustoukos and Fu Qi and their graduate adviser, professor W.E. Seyfried, Jr.--will present a portion of this work Monday, Dec. 13, at the American Geophysical Union meeting in the Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco.
The most familiar sources of methane are bacteria that live in bogs, lakes and the stomachs of ruminants like cows. But before any life existed, there must have been an energy source that could be tapped by primitive life forms. The simplest sources are hydrogen-rich compounds like hydrogen gas, hydrogen sulfide gas and hydrocarbons.
Deane Morrison, | EurekAlert!
Volcanoes and glaciers combine as powerful methane producers
20.11.2018 | Lancaster University
Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland
15.11.2018 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen
Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.
Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
19.11.2018 | Event News
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Life Sciences
20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy