Sunday, 2 July 2017

China Taps Cobustible Ice For

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China taps 'combustible ice' for growing energy needs


China is digging deep into the ocean to get huge reserves of frozen fossil fuels known as "flammable ice," but it will take years to become part of the global energy mix. Gas hydrates are found not only in permafrost but also in the ocean floor, but experts say methane extraction from ice crystals is technically difficult and costly.

Energy Demand China, one of the countries that want to use resources that are difficult to meet the growing demand, recently announced a "historic breakthrough" in drilling tests in the South China Sea. China has extracted more than 235,000 cubic meters of gas hydrate off the coast of Guangdong Province in six weeks, according to the China Geological Survey website.


China is expected to complete exploration exploration of flammable ice using regional innovation in technology and engineering," said Jianliang Guangzhou, director of the Ocean Geological Survey.

It has become a historic breakthrough,

Substantial deposits, The US Department of Energy said that because natural gas could emit 164 cubic meters of methane, methane could be ignited and a 1-square-meter gas hydrate, also known as "combustible ice," would be extracted. Methane is extracted by heating or pressurizing the pressure inside the well to decompose the hydrate.

Estimates of the size of the planet's gas hydrate reserves vary widely, but the US Department of State said it could "exceed the combined energy content of all other known fossil fuels".

Analysts say that in countries with limited access to conventional natural gas, considerable resources can become "game changers. Ingo Pecher, a professor of science at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, said, "A perfect example is important because Japan does not have much of the traditional gas.

Japan relies heavily on imports of liquefied natural gas, and most nuclear power plants are still offline for more than six years after the 2011 tsunami disaster. The result is an economy," Pecher said. Known gas hydrate deposits from New Zealand to Alaska have been identified, but the challenge is finding a highly concentrated and accessible place.

The huge potential

Some countries are hoping to convert gas hydrates to energy sources, including Japan, which reported drilling success on the Pacific coast. The US, which is investigating the potential of gas hydrates, has had positive results from exploration drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

But commercially successful production is "another decade," said Boston Duerloo Partner and Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group. Duerloo said, "We know the location of the resources and how to apply them, but the rate of production at the well can not be commercially viable at the current price," Duerloo said. Another exceptional energy source, Shale Gas, takes a long time to take off.

China will start commercial production of gas hydrates around 2030, the Ministry of Land and Resources said. Another concern surrounding the extraction of gas hydrates is the potential that methane, a greenhouse gas, can leak into the atmosphere and cause global warming, said Xu Yuan, an associate professor of geography and resource management at the University of China.

Nonetheless, gas hydrates have a "huge potential" if they can overcome cost and technology barriers, he added.

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