Along with Government agencies, many private companies are switching to cleaner fuels In a bid to reduce greenhouse warming. Such a clean fule includes methane that emits lower carbon per joule than other fossil fuels. Transporting methane over long distances across oceans poses a problem. Conventionally, methane is rarely transported by ship because the cost to make methane dense enough for economically shipping is prohibitive. Cryogenic refrigeration and high pressures to provide the necessary density to methane for transportation also incur additional costs.
A recently published patent from The Boeing Company discloses a system for transporting methane by sea. The system includes a methane source dispensing methane at a source location and an underwater vehicle configured to transport the methane from the source location to a destination location. The underwater vehicle includes a vessel for storing water and methane from the methane source at a pressure exceeding one atm. The vessel is kept at a temperature to convert methane and water into methane clathrate. At the destination location, the system includes a methane receiver for receiving methane released from the vessel at the destination location. Methane receiver includes a collector positioned above an outlet port of the vessel receiving the methane from the vessel.
This groundbreaking system from the pioneer, The Boeing Company, makes it feasible to transport methane economically by sea over long distances and at lower energy expenditures.
Publication Number: US11077925B2
Patent Title: System and method for transporting methane
Publication date: 2021-08-03
Filing date: 2019-08-16
Inventors: Brian J. Tillotson
Assignee: Boeing Co