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Recovery of Natural Gas from Methane Hydrate Deposits

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2004 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Precision Combustion, Inc.
CT North Haven, CT 06473-3106
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: Recovery of Natural Gas from Methane Hydrate Deposits
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-03ER83755
Award Amount: $750,000.00


72818-Methane hydrates comprise a large potential energy source for the U.S. The thermal dissociation of methane hydrates by the injection of a hot fluid offers the potential to economically, effectively, and controllably produce natural gas from methane hydrate deposits, along with the potential for CO2 sequestration. However, heat losses from the injection at the surface may exceed the heating value of the recovered gas. This project will develop a downhole catalytic combustion system for efficiently producing methane from its hydrate. Specifically, a practical and controllable compact wellbore combustor, which is capable of high BTU downhole heat generation and minimizes the heat losses in transporting hot fluid downhole, will be developed. In addition, the system offers the potential for sequestering CO2 into its hydrate form, releasing more heat for use in dissociating methane. In Phase I, deposits with as little as five percent hydrate by volume were shown to be economically recoverable. Energy costs as a fraction of produced natural gas was very low, with very high payoffs. Phase II will complete the development of the downhole catalytic combustion system. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: The technology should provide an enabling tool for natural gas production from hydrates and potentially for CO2 sequestration. In the near term, the technology should have application for steam generation for heavy oil production, with the potential to improve production and substantially reduce energy and other costs of recovery costs from existing reservoirs.

Principal Investigator:

William Pfefferle

Business Contact:

Paul Donahe
Small Business Information at Submission:

Precision Combustion, Inc.
410 Sackett Point Road North Haven, CT 06473

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No