Krishna-Godavari basin turns out to be an excellent source of fuel methane

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New Delhi, September 13, 2020: As the world runs out of fossil fuels and looks out for alternate sources of clean energy, there is good news from the Krishna-Godavari basin or the KG Basin. The methane hydrate deposit in this basin is a rich source that will ensure adequate supplies of methane, a natural gas.

Methane is a clean and economical fuel. It is estimated that one cubic meter of methane hydrate contains 160-180 cubic meters of methane. Even the lowest estimate of methane present in the methane hydrates in KG Basin is twice that of all fossil fuel reserves available worldwide.

In a recent study conducted by researchers at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India have found that the methane hydrate deposits are located in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin are of biogenic origin. The study was conducted as a part of the DST-SERB young scientist project titled ‘Elucidating the community structure of methanogenic archaea in methane hydrate’. Methane hydrate is formed when hydrogen-bonded water and methane gas come into contact at high pressures and low temperatures in oceans.
“Cultivation, isolation, and characterization of putative novel Methanoculleus sp. nov. and Methanosarcinaspnov. from methane hydrate sediments of Krishna-Godavari basin, India are reported for first time,” said Dr. Vikram B Lanjekar, Principle Investigator of the study.

According to the present study accepted for publishing in the journal ‘Marine genomics’, the ARI team has further identified the methanogens that produced the biogenic methane trapped as methane hydrate, which can be a significant source of energy.

“The massive methane hydrate deposits of biogenic origin in the Krishna-Godavari basin and near the coast of Andaman and Mahanadi make it necessary to study the associated methanogenic community,” said Dr. Vikram B Lanjekar, the Principal Investigator of the study.

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