China released a record amount of methane hydrate from the South China Sea, known as the ice ice. Methane hydrate gas, which can be used as an energy source, could not be removed due to a number of difficulties.
China’s natural gas industry has announced that they have produced a record amount of “fire ice” from the South China Sea. Although fire ice seems like a term that has skyrocketed from George R. R. Martin’s novels, it is actually the name of a new energy source.
The term fire ice is actually used for methane hydrates, a natural gas and water version of a general category called clathrates. In clathrates, where methane hydrate also belongs, a molecule forms a lattice around it to trap another molecule.
In methane hydrate, ice crystals trap natural gas by forming a cage around natural gas. This cage around natural gas retains natural gas forever when there is no external interference.
Removing methane hydrate can cause environmental disaster
The presence of methane hydrate in an ice cage is the biggest obstacle to natural gas extraction. When an attempt is made to remove methane hydrate by an external intervention, the ice cage around it begins to melt. The melting of the ice cage causes the huge amount of methane hydrate in the cage to spread to the ocean. Spreading methane hydrate to the ocean in this way can cause great damage to the environment.
According to experts, the great danger of the removal of fire ice, which is one of the most abundant energy resources in the world, also prevents its use as a product. But methane hydrate traders now want to extract this natural gas more than ever.
China can become an energy giant
The huge drop in oil prices causes oil producers to close the valves. This makes it difficult for countries in need of energy to access energy. For this reason, countries like China are turning to energy sources that are very difficult to extract, such as methane hydrate.
The energy need of China, the most crowded country in the world, is much more than other countries in the world. If China can continue to successfully extract methane hydrate on a regular basis, it can become one of the world’s energy giants in addition to solving its own energy problem.