Wednesday, September 15, 2004

PhysicsWeb: Petroleum under pressure

Scientists have made methane through inorganic reactions... and have monitored the reaction in situ through diamond surfaces.
"Freeman Dyson of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton believes the results are important because they could help answer the question of whether natural gas and petroleum could be created inorganically. 'If the answer turns out to be inorganic, this has huge implications for the ecology and economy of our planet,' says Dyson.
However, Scott is more cautious about his team's results. 'Although I believe the Earth's mantle could contain a significant quantity of even heavier hydrocarbons, I cannot constrain how much of this reaches the Earth's surface, or the extent to which it may augment resources that we exploit commercially,' he told PhysicsWeb. 'I do not want to suggest in any way that these hydrocarbons are likely to represent an untapped energy reserve.'"

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