This section summarizes a Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) project that has been funded for several years by the Office of Naval Research. Methane hydrates constitute a huge untapped energy resource, with significant deposits identified worldwide in ocean sediments of continental margins. Project objectives include development of environmentally benign technologies utilizing these deposits, conducting studies of methane hydrate stability, and gaining understanding of: 1) the role these hydrates play in the carbon cycle, and 2) the impact that resource exploitation could have on the environment.
The primary HNEI contact is Stephen Masutani. One important element of this project has been the establishment of international collaborations, including attendance at periodic International Workshops on Methane Hydrates.
For general information about methane hydrates, see the Methane Hydrates section of our website. For details about HNEI research in this subject, see the Hydrate Research section of our website and the Methane Hydrates Project pdf document. For additional information on related HNEI ocean research activities, see the Ocean Resources research section of our website.