Will ‘Flammable Ice’ Replace Fossil Fuels?

China’s voracious energy appetite has the country pursuing an alternative energy source, located within the deep sea and in Polar Regions, for more than two decades. The fuel-hungry country’s Minister of Land and Resources, Jiang Daming announced on Thursday that Chinese miners have successfully extracted gas from an ice-like substance mined from the South China Sea. The successful collection of the frozen fuel from ‘flammable ice’ was “a major breakthrough that may lead to a global energy revolution,” according to state media.

Methane hydrates also known as ‘flammable ice’ is a chief constituent of natural gas. Gas hydrate or methane hydrate is a cage-like lattice of crystallized ice which are constituted of methane molecules. If methane hydrate is either depressurized or warmed, it turns back into water and natural gas.

Japan Carries Out Similar Offshore Test

Back in 2015, the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation carried out the first methane hydrate offshore production test in the Nankai Through, far off the coast of Mie prefecture in central Japan. Japan’s trade ministry said it was successfully able to extract 20,000 cubic meters per day on an average for six days.

flammable-ice

In addition to China and Japan, the U.S. and Canada are also studying flammable ice.

Japan is now preparing to perform a second production test to extract natural gas from two wells. The text will be carried out for about five weeks. The ultimate goal of the production test is to determine whether the output could go commercial-scale in the future.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the resource-poor nation is funding $180 million to fund the methane hydrate test. It is estimated that the Japan Eastern Nankai through holds more than 1 trillion cubic meters of methane hydrates, which is equal to 11 years of Japan’s gas consumption.

Climate Change & Methane Hydrate

Experts agree that flammable ice could be a potent energy source. While it could be a game changer for the energy industry, it carries irreversible environmental hazards. The release of methane to the atmosphere in permafrost regions is considered to be one of the worst accelerator mechanisms of climate change.

In the preindustrial era, the overall atmospheric concentrations of methane have grown from about 700 parts per billion to over 1,840 parts per billion today. Methane does not just leak from drilling operates, but it also emerges from biological processes such as the flooding of rice paddies and enteric fermentation in the stomachs of cattle.

In addition to China and Japan, the U.S. and Canada are also studying flammable ice.

Anna Domanska
Anna Domanska is an Industry Leaders Magazine author possessing wide-range of knowledge for Business News. She is an avid reader and writer of Business and CEO Magazines and a rigorous follower of Business Leaders.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts

Best Retirement Plans For Entrepreneurs While Inflation Soars

Best Retirement Plans For Entrepreneurs While Inflation Soars

As of 2021, over 150 million US workers identified themselves as self-employed. This means that they are responsible for their own retirement plans. Employees of big firms tend to
10 hours ago
Fashion Designer Vera Wang – The Fairy Godmother All Brides Want

Fashion Designer Vera Wang – The Fairy Godmother All Brides Want

Just shy of her 40th birthday, Vera Wang struggled to find a bridal gown that suited her taste. Her father pointed out her struggles for what they really were – a remarkable busi
10 hours ago
The Microsoft Employee Salary Hike: Peer Pressure In Tech

The Microsoft Employee Salary Hike: Peer Pressure In Tech

In the memo obtained by Geekwire, Nadella writes that he is aware of how much their talent is in demand. He appreciated their efforts in keeping the company running and thanked hi
15 hours ago
Grubhub Marketing: A Harsh Lesson in Disaster Management

Grubhub Marketing: A Harsh Lesson in Disaster Management

The GrubHub marketing disaster is a lesson in what not to do. Sure, even negative publicity is publicity. But sometimes, it leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth that is difficult to
1 day ago
Walmart Q1 Earnings 2022: Rising Inflation and Robust Sales Down Profits

Walmart Q1 Earnings 2022: Rising Inflation and Robust Sales Down Profits

In the Walmart earnings call 2022, Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs mentioned that “Q1 profit declined more than expected with operating income down 20% and adjusted EPS down
1 day ago
Shareholders Reject Intel’s Executive Pay Package

Shareholders Reject Intel’s Executive Pay Package

The filing shows that “stockholders did not approve, on an advisory basis, Intel’s executive compensation of its listed officers.” The California-based tech company’s packa
3 days ago