China produces flammable ice/natural gas from methane hydrate

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  • China has successfully produced natural gas from methane hydrate, also known as “flammable ice”, in an experimental project in the South China Sea (SCS). 

  • As part of the experiment, a drilling platform had produced a total of 309,000 cubic metres of natural gas from gas hydrate in 60 days. 

  • Methane hydrate has been identified as a potential new gas source for China, with the South China Sea thought to contain some of the world’s most promising flammable ice deposits.

  • India, Canada and US are also believed to be looking at hydrates as an alternative energy source. 

  • Flammable ice (also known as methane hydrate or methane clathrates) consists of methane trapped within water crystals. 

  • It is the world’s largest natural gas resource is trapped beneath permafrost and ocean sediment where low temperature and moderate pressure combine to trap methane in this specific way. 

  • The methane hydrate is highly flammable and energy-intensive fuel as one cubic metre of the compound can releases about 160 cubic metres of gas. 

  • It can break down into water and methane after temperature is raised or pressure is lowered. 

  • It is likely to be the world’s last great source of carbon-based fuel and has potential to be a revolutionary energy source that could cater future energy needs. 

  • Its vast deposits exist underneath all oceans around the globe, especially on the edge of continental shelves.

Source:TH