Japan's Flammable Ice - New Energy
|Source: US Dept. of Energy - Methane Hydrate Fuel Ice|
Energy Innovation from Flammable Ice
Japan has extracted an untapped fuel from the ocean floor. It's methane hydrate. It's called flammable ice. Methane trapped in ice is buried in the waters around Japan. In some cases, what looks like dirty ice leaks to the surface. If you strike a match to it, it ignites. It exists in many places including Alaska.
Big global research organizations, Japanese and global companies are racing to tap into this huge source of new energy - methane seabed ice for fuel. They hope to start extracting it as a new energy source by the end of the next decade of 2020. US and Japanese researchers are just starting new research on this.
The challenge is to extract it from the seabed. The methane incased in ice is so sensitive and delicate, it can't be dug and hauled up. It breaks apart. That's the challenge for innovators. They need to get the methane to release on the seafloor and extract the gas that comes out and bring it safely to the surface. Japan innovators are working on this, and so are scientists globally. It's a difficult challenge but could be a new source of energy for the world. A big question is how helpful would this be to climate change? No answers yet. Stay Tuned for how they proceed. For more innovation news stories, check this out amazon.com/author/ekane