IDW #202 : Methane Ice Miner

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    IDW #202 : Methane Ice Miner

    IDW #202 : Methane Ice Miner

    Topic: Methane Ice Miner
    Deadline: Sunday, May 6

    Methane ice, also known as fire ice, or more scientifically as methane clathrate, is a material which is being explored as a large scale source of natural gas. However, this material does not occur only on Earth. It may occur in any situation with low temperatures, water and methane (yes, this means space). As such, you are tasked with creating a methane ice miner. Because of the generally remote and inhospitable areas in which this substance occurs, this with have to be a robot of some sort.

    When designing, be clear as to what environment this ice is found and is being mined from. Adjust the design to meet the potential requirements of traveling to the mining site, whether that site is vacuum, terrestrial, or aquatic, and how the ice is either processed or returned to a processing plant.

    Brief:
    1. Design and draw a Methane Ice Miner.
    2. That's it... now draw!

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    This topic is nice Such a shame I'm away most of this week..
    If by any reason this week is extended by another week (hint) I'm happy with that
    Good luck everyone!

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    First time I enter IDW :3
    ok I thought it would require a robot that can climb and has some kind of storage tank. To mine the methana ice it uses euh... sucking. You know, vacuum and stuff. And there is a claw between it too for moving away rocks that are in the way.

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    the stirer
    not really an entry, as its mining the planets atmospheric volatiles directly, but the theme was a good excuse to draw it as its been on my mind.
    the drill string is kilometres wide and tens of thoousands of km long; terratonnes of material are lifted up the string for transmutation in low orbit.

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    Sushy: lol having the same idea! almost had my brain explode when i saw your post!!! i did this at home before seeing your image its insane!

    wont be able to finish. again. . .

    the miner is dropped down from a ship/hover craft, it injects its nose into the rock
    and sucks up the gas. filters it and sends it to the ship far above it.

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    So, I think Adrian did his homework, because he's talking about a "gas". Nice!

    I read about that to when i started, and decided to go on similar lines. This bot is part of a multibot system to find and collect fire ice buried deep with in a distant ice moon. This bots job is to fine scan, drill holes (lasers), and once another bot was in position over another hole, it would shoot a different beam down a hole to covert the ice to gas form, which would be collected on the other end, then picked up and flown into orbit by a 3rd bot.

    Damn Lucy, that was a whole lotta' 'splainin'!

    On a side note I hope we never really invest in this tech as a species. At least here on our home world, seems like a bad idea all around, from the little I read anyway.

    Sidenote#2- Cool idea velocity, seems like it could be a real invention at some point, well for something so massive, it seems plausible, if that makes sense...lol

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    SnailsPace, methane is a gas right? I mean everytime I hear methane I hear the chemistry teacher from my past scream that it is CH4 :V flammable and a gas

    @Adrian: lol that is strange
    I hope the idea is still a bit original... Anway, I decided to stick with it. I thought of making it a big vehicle and such, but I think the robot should be small and easily maneuverable.

    Here is an update on mine.
    OK this time I am working in SAI... That is something new...
    Name:  methaneiceminer2012_2.jpg
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    changed the claw into a drill, for more digging precision :V

    Edit: oh yeah and I figured it was digging on Mars.

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    methane exists as a gas on earth because its warm. it is obviously only flammable in the presence of oxygen.
    in the outer solar system methane freezes into and ice and along with other ices forms the equivalent of rock, making up the solud surface of many of the outer moons and other bodies.

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    this is my reference-
    "What is the production of methane hydrate?

    When using methane hydrate – existing as a solid substance in layers – as an energy resource, we must dissociate methane hydrate to methane gas and water and collect only the methane gas.
    This process is called “the production of methane hydrate”or “the methane hydrate production.”

    Since methane hydrate is a solid substance, you can think it can be mined as coal. However, it is not efficient to mine methane hydrate because it is contained in geologic layers under a deep ocean.

    The production of methane hydrate means dissociating methane hydrate in the layers and collecting the resultant methane gas through wells and production systems.

    Once methane gas is generated from dissociated methane hydrate, then the above approach may be used to collect it using a similar principle, methods, equipment and facilities as employed for the development of natural gas.

    To dissociate methane hydrate that is stable at low temperature and under high pressure, we must (1) increase the temperature or (2) decrease the pressure."

    link-
    http://www.mh21japan.gr.jp/english/mh21-1/3-2/

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    ah clathrates are different, theyre hydrocarbons locked in cages of water ice, they owe their existence to the intense pressure of rock under the bottom of the sea.

    on titan the moon of saturn, methane takes the place of water has here in the weather systems there, so you have methane rain, methane lakes and ice mountains.

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    I watched a show on Titan a couple months ago, I had forgot the details though. Pretty sure it was in the back of my mind coming up with this. Might have to refine my story some, wouldn't make sense to dig deep for a resource that's so abundant other places.

    edit:

    well actually, like you just said, it owes its existence to extreme pressure and cold, its not regular methane. I think Titan is just methane based right? Not so much the "clathrate" part.

    Last edited by SnailsPace; May 3rd, 2012 at 08:05 PM.
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    i dont think titan is clathrate, but theres plenty of water out there too so i may be wrong. saturns rings are water ice.

    there are lots of unusual kinds or stuff and mysterious things out in the cold, from solid hydrocarbons, titans hydrocarbon weather, the ice covered water oceans of europa and iapetus, the amazing complexity of jupiter and saturn with their hydrocarbon and sulpide cloud decks and metallic hydreogen cores, chaotically tumbling hyperion which is full of caverns, the ice giants neptune and uranus with their hypersonic winds, and the cryogenic worlds like pluto. a vast storehouse of resources that presumably in future will support hundreds of billions of people.
    good lectures on youtube on all of the above if youre interested.

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    so...it's not... a gas..
    OK I feel a bit stupid now.

    I guess I give up this round. Or change the robot in the bird I want it to be.

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    its all three states, solid liquid and gas, in differrnt places!

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    Finals is up!

    To clarify- the bot must mine the solid methane ice, however conversion to gas or liquid as part of the function is perfectly acceptable.

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