One of the problems with natural gas
is that it's necessary to store it at high pressure to use it in vehicles. A group of developers at the University of Liverpool in the UK have announced a new method to convert methane gas into a powder, effectively creating methane hydrates (pictured at the right). This makes the methane much more transportable. Their method uses a material, made out of a mixture of silica and water, that can can soak up large quantities of the gas. The gas then becomes a fine white powder that is easy to transport and use. Usually, methane hydrates are formed at a very slow rate, but their method uses water broken into tiny droplets to increase the surface area that interacts with and captures the gas.