<p class="p1">As the world runs out of fossil fuels and looks out for alternate sources of clean energy, the methane hydrate deposit in Krishna-Godavari basin could be rich source methane, says research by Indian scientists.</p>
<p class="p1">Methane, a natural gas, 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 Krishna-Godavari Basin is twice that of all fossil fuel reserves available worldwide, said a government press release.</p>
<p class="p1">In a recent study conducted by researchers at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, has found that the methane hydrate deposits are located in the Krishna-Godavari basin are of biogenic origin.</p>
<p class="p1">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.</p>
<p class="p1">According to the present study accepted for publishing in the journal ‘Marine genomics,’ the team has further identified the methanogens that produced the biogenic methane trapped as methane hydrate, which can be a significant source of energy.</p>
<p class="p1">Dr. Vikram B Lanjekar, the principal investigator of the study, said, “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.</p>
<p class="p1">"Methanogens under these elevated pressure and temperature conditions are well adapted to these conditions and are different in methane-producing activities. Understanding of these methane-producing methanogenic communities under such an extreme and pristine environment was very important. This study using molecular and culturing techniques revealed maximum methanogenic diversity in the Krishna-Godavari basin, which is one of the prominent reasons to confirm it to be the extreme source of biogenic methane in comparison to the Andaman and Mahanadi basins," said the press release.</p>
<p class="p1">The sediment samples associated with methane hydrate deposits from Krishna-Godawari, Andaman, and Mahanadi basin were provided by National Gas Hydrate Core Repository, GHRTC, ONGC, Panvel, Maharashtra, for this study.</p>.