methane hydrates

Methane Hydrates Overview

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.

International Workshop on Methane Hydrate Research & Development in Japan, May 28th

methane hydrate workshop
The 8th International Workshop on Methane Hydrate Research & Development will be held in Sapporo, Japan on 28 May - 1 June 2012. HNEI organized the 1st Workshop in Honolulu in 2000 and has been a sponsor and member of the International Steering Committees of all subsequent workshops. Information on the upcoming workshop can be found at Contact Stephen Masutani for additional information.

Stephen M. Masutani

Stephen M.
06/12/2012 - 13:40

Hawaii Natural Energy Institute
School of Ocean And Earth Science And Technology
University of Hawaii at Manoa

(808) 956-7388
(808) 956-2336
University of Hawaii Information: 

Researcher, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, 2007 - present                                                                                             Associate Researcher, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, 2002 - 2007
Associate Professor, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, 1999 - 2002
Associate Researcher, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, 1994 - 1999
Cooperating Graduate Faculty, Department of Ocean Engineering, 1995 - present
Cooperating Graduate Faculty & Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 1989 - present

Other Professional: 

Program Manager, Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR), Honolulu, Hawaii, 1997 -1998
Owner, Combustion and Power, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1991 - present
Senior Mechanical Engineer & CO2 Project Manager, PICHTR, Energy & Resources Division, 1989 - 1994
Visiting Scientist (Shokutaku), The Hitachi Research Laboratory, HItachi Ltd., Ibaraki, Japan, 1985 -1989
Research Assistant, High Temperature Gasdynamics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1979-1985


Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1985
M.S. Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1980
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, 1977

Selected Publications: 

Manya, J.J., M.J. Antal, Jr., C.K. Kinoshita, and S.M. Masutani. 2011. Specific heat capacity of pure water at 4.0 MPa between 298.15 and 465.65 K. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 50(10): 6470-6484.

Nihous, G.C., K. Kuroda, J.R. Lobos-Gonzalez, R.J. Kurasaki and S.M. Masutani. 2010. An analysis of gas hydrate dissociation in the presence of thermodynamic inhibitors. Chem. Eng. Sci. 65(5): 1748-1761.

Yoza, B.A., G.C. Nihous, P.K. Takahashi, L.G. Golmen, J.C. War, K. Otsuka, K. Ouchi and S.M. Masutani. 2010. Deep ocean water resources in the 21st century. Mar. Technol. Soc. J. 44(3): 80-87.

Nihous, G.C., C.K. Kinoshita, and S.M. Masutani. 2009. A determination of the activity of water-alcohol mixtures using mobile order thermodynamics. Chem. Eng. Sci. 64(11): 2767-2771.

Montgomery, M.T., T.J. Boyd, C.L. Osburn, R.E. Plummer, S.M. Masutani, and R.B. Coffin. 2009. Desalination technology waste streams: effect of pH and salinity on metabolism of marine microbial assemblages. Desalination 249(2): 861-864.

Nihous, G.C., C.K. Kinoshita, and S.M. Masutani. 2008. Stress concentration factors for oblique holes in pressurized thick cylinders. J. Press. Vess-T. ASME 130(2): 021202-1-021202-7.

Nihous, G.C. and S.M. Masutani. 2007. Notes on the modeling of methane in aging hydrothermal vents. J. Mar. Res. 65(6): 789-812.

Yoza, B.A., R.M. Harada, Q.X. Li, G.C. Nihous, and S.M. Masutani. 2007. Impact of mariculture on microbial diversity in sediments near open ocean farming of Polydactylus Sexfilis. Ecol. Indic. 7(1): 108-122.

Nihous, G.C. and S.M. Masutani. 2006. Notes on the dissolution rate of gas hydrates in undersaturated water. Chem. Eng. Sci. 61(23): 7827-7830.

Nihous, G.C. and S.M. Masutani. 2006. A model of methane concentration profiles in the open ocean. J. Mar. Res. 64(4): 629-650.

Nishio, M., S.M. Masutani, J. Minamiura, and M. Ozaki. 2005. Study of liquid CO2 droplet formation under simulated mid-depth ocean conditions. Energy. 30: 2284-2297.

Coffin, R.B., M.T. Montgomery, T.J. Boyd, and S.M. Masutani:. 2004. Influence of ocean CO2 sequestration on bacterial elemental cycling. Energy 29: 1511-1520.

Masutani, S.M. and E.E. Adams. 2004. Liquid droplet contaminant plumes in the deep ocean. Jpn. J. Multiphase Flow 18(12): 135-152

Takahashi, P., J. Vadus, and S. Masutani. 2004. Energy from the Sea:  the Potential and Realities of OTEC, IOC Bruun Memorial Lectures, UNESCO.

Zhou, J., S.M. Masutani, D.M. Ishimura, S.Q. Turn, and C.M. Kinoshita. 2000. Release of fuel-bound nitrogen during biomass gasification. . Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 39(3): 626-634.

Masutani, S. and E. Adams. 2000. Experimental study of multiphase plumes with application to deep ocean oil spills. Final report to US Dept of the Interior, Minerals Management Service Contract No 1435-01-98-CT-30946.  Available from

Masutani, S.M. and P.K. Takahashi. 1999. Ocean thermal energy conversion. Encyclopedia of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (J. Webster, ed.), Vol. 15, pp. 93-102, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Teng, H., C.M. Kinoshita, S.M. Masutani, and J. Zhou. 1998. Entropy generation in multicomponent reacting flows. ASME J. Energy Res. Technol. 120: 226-232.

Takahashi, P.K. and S.M. Masutani. 1998. Integrated Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion systems for very large floating platforms. Mar. Technol. Soc. J. 31(4): 63-69.

Teng, H., C.M.Kinoshita, and S.M. Masutani. 1995. Prediction of droplet size from the breakup of cylindrical liquid jets. Int. J. Multiphas Flow 21(1): 129-136.

Kinoshita, C.M., H. Teng, and S.M. Masutani. 1994. A study of the instability of liquid jets and comparison with Tomotika's analysis. Int. J. Multiphas Flow 20(3): 523-533.

Nihous, G.C., S.M. Masutani, L.A. Vega, and C.M. Kinoshita. 1994. Projected impact of deep ocean carbon dioxide discharge on atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Climatic Change 27: 225-244.

Mori, Y., S.M. Masutani, G.C. Nihous, L.A. Vega, and C.M. Kinoshita: 1993. Pre-combustion removal of carbon dioxide from hydrocarbon-fuelled power plants. Fuel, 72(9): 1993.

Masutani, S.M., C.M. Kinoshita, T. Ho, G.C. Nihous, and L.A. Vega. 1993. An experiment to simulate ocean disposal of carbon dioxide. Energy Convers. Mgmt. 34(9-11): 865-872.

Nihous, G.C., S.M. Masutani, L.A. Vega, and C.M. Kinoshita. 1993. A global assessment of the oceanic discharge of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in mitigating the greenhouse effect. Energy Convers. Mgmt. 34(9-11): 775-782.

Mori, Y., S.M. Masutani, G.C. Nihous, L.A. Vega, and C.M. Kinoshita. 1992. Pre-combustion removal of carbon dioxide from natural gas power plants and the transition to hydrogen energy systems. J. Energ. Resour-ASME 114: 221-226.



Licensed Professional Engineer (Mechanical), State of Hawaii

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