While the US looks to ethanol to solve the energy crisis,
China has a more ambitious goal by trying to utilize combustible ice.
After nine years of research and 500 million yuan investment, the government announced on June 6th that the combustible ice—the methane gas hydrate on ocean floor –was excavated from the floor of the South China Sea.
“Zhang Hongtao, deputy director of the China Geological Survey Bureau, told a press conference held by the Ministry of Land and Resources that on the morning of May 1, China succeeded in collecting samples of combustible ice from the northern part of the South China Sea.
Natural gas hydrate usually exists in a seabed or tundra areas. It is formed by natural gas and water in conditions of high pressure and low temperature. It looks like ice and can be lit up like solid ethanol, hence the name “combustible ice”. Approximately 164 cubic meters of natural gas can be released from one cubic meter of natural gas hydrate.”