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Rwanda's underwater powerhouse (BBC) {methane gas from 'turnover' lake}

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-04-07 05:22 PM
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Rwanda's underwater powerhouse (BBC) {methane gas from 'turnover' lake}
By Adam Mynott
BBC News, Rwanda

***
Hundreds of metres down in the inky blackness, {Lake Kivu} is holding enough unexploited energy to meet Rwanda's needs for 200 years.

Rotting vegetation which has been deposited for millions of years at the bottom of the lake is giving off a constant regenerating supply of methane gas.
***
Geological evidence from around the lake shows that every 1,000 years or so there have been cataclysmic events which have wiped out all animal life in a huge radius surrounding the lake.
***
The gas laden water from the bottom of the lake surges to the surface, releasing billions of cubic metres of gas; this settle like a huge toxic blanket over the surrounding area.
***
Lake Kivu is hundreds of times bigger than Lake Nyos and it is estimated that more than two million people would die.
***
more: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6624395.stm

How bizarre ... these people have to keep constantly pumping methane out of the lake, or they risk the same fate as the Cameroonians around lake Nyos.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploding_lake

I wonder if anyone has considered using that CO2 to feed biodiesel-producing algae? :)

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Sinistrous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-04-07 06:58 PM
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1. Minor point:
The article is discussing methane: C2H4.
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-04-07 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. CH4. This particular lake is a source of *both* CH4 and CO2.
The CO2 leaks upwards from deep magma reservoirs. The CH4 is from rotting vegetation.
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-04-07 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
3. That'd be a hell of an "oops" if something went wrong
Destabilize the methane through pumping and you kill 2 million people without warning.
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