It’s called ‘fire ice’ because all over the world huge stores of gas are trapped in ice crystals.
For years we’ve known that methane hydrate, a critical component of natural gas, is there for the taking… we were just unable to get to it.
The DOE estimates that the amount of energy available from methane hydrate stores could be more than all other fossil fuels… combined.
The problem is that the gas is extremely difficult to extract, because once it is removed from the ice it quickly dissipates and becomes useless.
Japan had some success extracting the fuel in 2013, with popularmechanics.com reporting, “The Japan Oil, Gas, and National Metals Corporation… announced last week that it had successfully extracted fuel from a deep-sea bed of methane hydrate located off the coast of Shikoku Island.”
Japan’s extraction was an accomplishment, but still didn’t do much, as only a small amount was removed.
China just had a breakthrough that far surpasses Japan’s. oilprice.com writes, “Today, the China Geographical Survey said that it managed to collect samples from… the South China Sea… Every day some 16,000 cubic meters (565,000 cubic feet) of gas, almost all of which was methane, were extracted from the test field.”
If the other countries attempting to extract ‘fire ice’ (including the U.S.) are able to replicate China and Japan’s successes, then we could be on the brink of a huge breakthrough in energy.
Natural gas is also more environmentally friendly than regular fossil fuels, and with demand for renewable sources of energy skyrocketing, ‘fire ice’ would be more needed than ever.
To continue reading about this development, read the oilprice.com article.