Understanding the origins of natural gas and how to support the complex environment of microorganisms which helped to produce this gas is the basis of an emerging commercial market focused on producing natural gas naturally. Commercial farming practices will enable us to produce gas from coal seams for potentially hundreds of years if not longer.

Microbiology

microbe“Methanogens are microorganisms that produce methane as a metabolic byproduct in anoxic conditions. They are classified as archaea, a domain quite distinct from bacteria. They are common in wetlands, where they are responsible for marsh gas, and in the digestive tracts of animals such as ruminants and humans, where they are responsible for the methane content of belching in ruminants and flatulence in humans.[1] In marine sediments biomethanation is generally confined to where sulfates are depleted, below the top layers.[2] Moreover, the methanogenic archaea populations play an indispensable role in anaerobic wastewater treatments.[3] Others are extremophiles, found in environments such as hot springs and submarine hydrothermal vents as well as in the “solid” rock of the Earth’s crust, kilometers below the surface. Not to be confused with methanotrophs which rather consume methane for their carbon and energy requirements.”[4]

Traditional CBM Production

traditionalTraditional CBM production has always involved the removal of water from the well bore to release the pressure of the water pushing the Methane gas into the cleats (cracks) of the coal seam. Once de-watered the Methane would flow freely up the well bore allowing operators to harvest and produce the gas for retail consumption. The produced water was tested for quality assurance under state and federal regulations and typically either surface dumped (for consumption by livestock amongst other applications) or delivered to a targeted disposal well and delivered back underground. Until recent years the relationship of this water within the coal seams providing an anaerobic environment for the Methanogenic bacteria that are indigenous to the coal was not considered and gas production ended with the depletion of the recoverable OGIP (Original Gas In Place).

How Long Have We Known About Microbial Methane Production?

maggiore

In 1776, Alessandro Volta ran some experiments on combustible air that was reported to him by a friend, Father Carlo Campi. On a little boat in Lake Maggiore he started to poke and stir the bottom of an area covered with reeds. Upon doing this, Volta noticed a lot of air emerging and decided to collect some in a large glass container. Upon analysis of the air he noted that it burned a beautiful blue flame. It wasn’t for nearly a century that firm evidence was collected that showed that the methane formation in these habitats was a microbial process.

The discovery of methanogens helped produce the idea for the kingdom Archaeobacteria, that would include methanogens, some extreme halophiles, and some extreme thermophilic sulfur-dependant organisms. Woese et al. (1990) proposed that a urkingdom be made for the methanogens and other Archaeobacteria and it be called Archaea. Present day there is a superkingdom Archaea that contains phylums, with the two most prominent being Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota and the methanogens being under Euryarchaeota.

Methanogens can be used to produce methane (aka natural gas, biogas) from biomass and degrade and detoxify agricultural, municipal, and industrial wastes. [5]

How Does CBNG Farming Work?

wellboreCBNG (Coal Bed Natural Gas) Farming is a relatively simple process which involves restoring the natural habitat of the indigenous Methanogens allowing them to re-initiate their organic gas production. As opposed to traditional CBM production operations which target only the removal of water as an obsticle preventing the collection of the existing gas in place, CBNG “Farming” targets a repetative cycle of production.  This process utilizes essentially the same infrastructure created for traditional CBM gas wells which allows for a very natural progression. Where traditional CBM practices focused only on the harvesting of gas, CBNG Farming focuses on the complete process of “re-seeding” and “re-growing” the crop for prolonged production. Initial estimates are that this process can be repeated for an estimated 356 years. [6]

enhanced

Focusing on water as a resource, CBNG Farming will realize the importance and the potential of this resource and no longer view it as a disposable obstacle. The goal behind managing a successful CBNG Farming field will be careful water management techniques. Retaining the produced water by re-introducing it to targeted de-watered coal seams will allow us to reclamate the environment for the bacteria and reinvigorate them. Another important factor will be “fertilizing” the bacteria to stimulate the colonies and therefore the gas production.

A patented blend of nutrients, in the form of amino acids, derived from common foodstuffs (such as fruits, cheese, proteins, etc) will be diluted into the re-introduced water gravity fed into the targeted well bores. This process is safe, clean, non-intrusive, and natural. The process has been carefully regulated and supervised by the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Committee (WOGCC), the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Committee (WOGCC), the Beuro of Land Management (BLM), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within the state of Wyoming. The process was approved for monitoring under a modified version of the state’s Class V Underground Injection Control (UIC) permitting process.

wellheads

Figure 1

This image demonstrates the normal operation of a natural gas well head during conventional production practices where water is discharged through outflow piping and gas is produced through the production pipelines.

Figure 2

This image demonstrates how this same well head configuration with minimal modification can utilize the outflow piping as a delivery mechanism for the re-introduced water during the farming process.

The Nutrient

nutrientsIn an article title “Luca: Here’s what is going down the well” in May of 2010, Luca Technologies published a list of the nutrients used in their nitrient mixture in an article published by the Gillette News Record. This public documentation of the benign contents of the nutrient mixture was a part of the process outlining the steps which would later be approved for permitting through the WDEQ’s modified Class V UIC permit. They dilute 700 pounds of nutrients in approximately 5,000 barrels of water.

The following is the list from that article:

 

Vitamins and minerals/multi-nutrients: About 1.4 percent

Calcium, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, vitamin B-12, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, biotin (in milk, cheeses and vegetables)

Casein hydrolyzates (protein source)

Yeast extract, brewer’s yeast, soy protein

 

Cell vitality enhancers: About 98 percent

Glycerol

Weak organic acids

Formic acid (in fruit)

Acetic acid (vinegar)

Propionic and butyric (butter, cheese)

Lactic acid (yogurt, cottage cheese)

Decanoic (used coat fruits and vegitables)

Glyceryl triacetate (food additive)

Ethyl lactate (wine, fruits, chicken)

Polyoxyethylene (sweetener)

 

 

Tracers: about 0.5 percent

Potassium iodide (most food, especially seafood)

Sodium chloride (table salt)

Potassium chloride (substitute table salt)

Sodium bromide (pharmaceutical, not in food)

Potassium bromide (pharmaceutical, not in food)

 

Our lead biologist has worked in the oil and gas industry for 30 years working with microbial agents to help correct, clean, and rectify the environmental impact of many different underground oil and gas operations. When it comes to understanding the microbial communities and how best to nuture and support their development there is no one better. There is a network of bacteria the constitute the microbial community within which the methanogenic bacteria thrive. It is important to nurture the entire community to realize the full potential behind commercial levels of natural gas production through natural means.

Patented Technologies

patentWe currently hold confidential technologies which will revolutionize the approch to the biological production of commercial natural gas. This emerging market poised for an explosive growth potential the likes of which we have not seen since the days man first struck oil. We believe that with our company possess the knowledge, the resource, and the potential to become a leader in this emerging world market. We seek to not only be a leader in the practice of producing natural gas naturally, but our goal is to bring the technologies needed to advance this industry to the market.

Major companies such as GE, Conoco Phillips, BASF, and many others are also investing in the potential of this form of energy production. It will take many years for us to tap into the full potential of this approach to energy production. Our goal is to be a responsible founding member of our future world energy economy, leaving a legacy capable of supporting generations for many years to come.

[1] Joseph W. Lengeler (1999). Biology of the Prokaryotes. Stuttgart: Thieme. p. 796. ISBN 0-632-05357-7.
[2] J.K. Kristjansson, et al. (1982). "Different Ks values for hydrogen of methanogenic bacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria: an explanation for the apparent inhibition of methanogenesis by sulfate". Arch. Microbiol. 131 (3): 278–282. doi:10.1007/BF00405893.
[3] Meisam Tabatabaei, Raha Abdul Rahim, André-Denis G. Wright, Yoshihito Shirai, Norhani Abdullah, Alawi Sulaiman, Kenji Sakai and Mohd Ali Hassan. 2010. Importance of the methanogenic archaea populations in anaerobic wastewater treatments (Process Biochemistry- 45(8), pp: 1214-1225)  
[4] Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanogen#cite_ref-3  
[5] Microbe Wiki http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Methanogens  
[6] 356 Years Article