China, Japan extract combustible ice from seafloor

Commercial development of the globe's huge reserves of a frozen fossil fuel known as "combustible ice" has moved closer to reality after Japan and China successfully extracted the material from the seafloor off their coastlines.

Combustible ice is a frozen mixture of water and concentrated natural gas. Technically known as methane hydrate, it can be lit on fire in its frozen state and is believed to comprise one of the world's most abundant fossil fuels.

The official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that the fuel was successfully mined by a drilling rig operating in the South China Sea. Chinese Minister of Land and Resources Jiang Daming declared the event a breakthrough moment heralding a potential "global energy revolution."

Methane hydrate has been found beneath seafloors and buried inside Arctic permafrost and beneath Antarctic ice.



Source : Time of India