Direct Experiments on the
Peter G. Brewer, Gernot Friederich and Edward T. Peltzer
Ocean Disposal of Fossil Fuel CO2
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
P.O. Box 628, Moss Landing, CA 95039-0628 USA
Franklin M. Orr, Jr.
School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305 USA
Science (1999) 284: 943-945.
Received: 29 December 1998.
Accepted: 6 April 1999.
Published: 7 May 1999.
Field experiments were conducted to test ideas for fossil fuel carbon dioxide
ocean disposal as a solid hydrate at depths ranging from 349 to 3627 meters
and from 8° to 1.6°C. Hydrate formed instantly from the gas phase at 349
meters, but then decomposed rapidly in ambient seawater. At 3627 meters, the
seawater-carbon dioxide interface rose rapidly due to massive hydrate
formation, forcing spill over of the liquid CO2 from the
container. A strong barrier between the liquid carbon dioxide and interaction with
the sediments was observed. A pool of liquid carbon dioxide on the sea floor would
expand in volume more than 4 times, forming hydrate, which will dissolve.
Images and QuickTime® movies of the overflow events are posted along with
other supplementary material at:
Supported by a grant to MBARI from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
We thank the MBARI engineers, ROV pilots, and ship's crews, for their skilled support.
This page was last updated on 19 November 1999.