The Tidal Irrigation and Electrical System

renewable energy, carbon dioxide sink, biodiesel, and food from the ocean

Methane

Martin on May 11th 2008

Methane is both a pollutant that the maintainers of a Tidal Irrigation and Electrical System will need to overcome, and a product which will need to be captured, concentrated and exported. Methane is produced as a byproduct of digestion and the decomposition of the bodies of living organisms, and by geologic processes in nature. The biological processes are the main factors for consideration in a TIE System.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. It is estimated that methane is twenty times more effective at trapping sunlight than carbon dioxide. It only lasts one tenth of the time carbon dioxide does in the atmosphere but that is still nearly a decade. Its emissions from inside and outside the lagoon of a TIE System will need to be carefully monitored and minimized by marine biologists and mariculturalists to prevent eutrophication. Eutrophication is caused by the build up of biological material. This can occur in any environment where there is an influx of nutrients and the resultant production of methane. As the biomass rots in anerobic conditions, methane is released. It must be one of the primary goals of any operator of a TIE System to minimize and combat eutrification inside the lagoon.

Methane is also a fuel and a potential product of a TIE System. The biomass generated in the lagoon will be filtered from the water column on the outflowing tide. It can then be concentrated and turned into any one of numerous petrochemicals including methane.