Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Researcher Shares Renewable Energy Expertise at International Fiery Ice Workshop

November 24, 2014

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – An Island University professor recently returned from India where he coordinated and co-organized the 2014 Fiery Ice, 9th International Methane Hydrate R&D Workshop.

Dr. Richard Coffin, Chair of the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, was in Hyderabad, India, for the workshop from Nov. 9 through 12.  

“This workshop provides a global overview of new accomplishments and current research needs,” he said. “Methane hydrate energy exploration has the potential to make a contribution towards climate change, coastal stability and carbon cycling research.”

One day the world will run out of important fossil fuels and researchers like Coffin are beginning to explore unconventional renewable energy resources such as gas hydrates. Coffin served as a member of a five-person international steering committee alongside representatives from Norway and Japan.

The theme of the conference was “Science & Technology of Gas Hydrates: When Can they be Produced Efficiently and Safely?” Gas hydrates exist in nature in a solid and ice-like form that contains molecules of gas. Workshop topics included climate issues, laboratory studies, detection and quantification, logging and coring, and the future of gas hydrates.

Coffin has organized gas hydrate workshops in countries around the world including India, Norway, Canada, Scotland, Chile, New Zealand, and Japan. He brings together researchers from all over the world to provide a space where they can discuss and share the latest breakthroughs in gas hydrate energy.

Coffin’s main area of research includes studying the amount of methane hydrate deposits that occur in the deep-sea sediments.