Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Abiotic Synthesis Of Methane: New Evidence Supports 19th-Century Idea On Formation Of Oil And Gas

Date:
November 6, 2009
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists in Washington, D.C. are reporting laboratory evidence supporting the possibility that some of Earth's oil and natural gas may have formed in a way much different than the traditional process described in science textbooks.

An oil pump taps deposits of petroleum deep beneath the Earth. Scientists are reporting new evidence that oil may have originated from processes other that the decay of prehistoric plants.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Scientists in Washington, D.C. are reporting laboratory evidence supporting the possibility that some of Earth's oil and natural gas may have formed in a way much different than the traditional process described in science textbooks.

Their study is scheduled for Nov./Dec. issue of ACS' Energy & Fuels, a bi-monthly publication. Anurag Sharma and colleagues note that the traditional process involves biology: Prehistoric plants died and changed into oil and gas while sandwiched between layers of rock in the hot, high-pressure environment deep below Earth's surface. Some scientists, however, believe that oil and gas originated in other ways, including chemical reactions between carbon dioxide and hydrogen below Earth' surface.

The new study describes a test of that idea, which dates to at least 1877 and famous Russian chemist Dimitri Mendeelev. They combined ingredients for this so-called abiotic synthesis of methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, in a diamond-anvil cell and monitored in-situ the progress of the reaction. The diamond anvils can generate high pressures and temperatures similar to those that occur deep below Earth's surface and allow for in-situ optical spectroscopy at the extreme environments.

The results "strongly suggest" that some methane could form strictly from chemical reactions in a variety of chemical environments. This study further highlights the role of reaction pathways and fluid immiscibility in the extent of hydrocarbon formation at extreme conditions simulating deep subsurface.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sharma et al. In Situ Diamond-Anvil Cell Observations of Methanogenesis at High Pressures and Temperatures. Energy & Fuels, 2009; 090925093126056 DOI: 10.1021/ef9006017

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Abiotic Synthesis Of Methane: New Evidence Supports 19th-Century Idea On Formation Of Oil And Gas." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091104123032.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2009, November 6). Abiotic Synthesis Of Methane: New Evidence Supports 19th-Century Idea On Formation Of Oil And Gas. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091104123032.htm
American Chemical Society. "Abiotic Synthesis Of Methane: New Evidence Supports 19th-Century Idea On Formation Of Oil And Gas." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091104123032.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 15, 2014) Pennsylvania-based Schramm is incorporating modern technology in its next generation oil-drigging rigs, making them smaller, safer and smarter. Ernest Scheyder reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins