Skip to comments.As China and US Plan to Exploit "Burning Ice" for Fuel, the Ice Race Is On
Posted on 03/21/2010 1:29:01 AM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
When methane and freezing cold water fuse under tremendous pressure, they create a substance as paradoxical as it coveted: burning ice. Earlier in the year, a report from the National Research Council identified the combustible water, also known as methane hydrate, as a potential source of natural gas. Now, according to the Chinese news organization Xinhau, China is joining the US, Japan, and South Korea in the hunt for this weird mineral.
Icy Hot : courtesy of NASAAs explained in this comic, there's 85.4 trillion cubic feet of methane hydrate buried under Alaska. That's equivalent to 3 billion tons of oil, or enough to heat 100 million American homes for a decade. According to the Xinahu article, reserves of methane hydrate in China's Qinghai province are equal to 35 billion tons of oil, enough to supply China for 90 years.
Unfortunately, China lacks the capability to excavate the mineral. Even at an expedited pace, China's Ministry of Land and Resources estimates it could be 10 to 15 years before any hydrate-derived gas finds its way into Chinese homes
(Excerpt) Read more at popsci.com ...
Ping. Also adding other energy innovation links. FRegards ....
Those are some mighty big numbers they’re throwing around.
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This sounds similar to napalm or sulfur. If a fire burns hotly enough, water only adds oxygen.
I thought the Enviro weenies said using methane hydrates would cause a chain reaction that would cause catastrophic global warming, I guess that was only if we and not China do it......
Stay away from our Alaskan Ice!!!
We bought it fair and square and we’re not giving it back!
Alaska’s reserves will be depleted 20 years from now if it’s harvested. That’s not really a big number.
There is no way in hell Obama will let us get at this stuff.
Assuming that it replaces all other natural gas use in the USA?
Please add me to this ping list, thank you.
Actually, THIS is a better bet:
“DOE’s program and programs in the national and international research community provide increasing confidence from a technical standpoint that some commercial production of methane from methane hydrate could be achieved in the United States before 2025,” said Charles Paull, chair of the committee that wrote the report, and senior scientist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California. “With global energy demand projected to increase, unconventional resources such as methane hydrate become important to consider as part of the future U.S. energy portfolio and could help provide more energy security for the United States.”
Methane hydrate, a solid composed of methane and water, occurs in abundance on the world's continental margins and in permafrost regions, such as in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska's North Slope. Although the total global volume of methane in methane hydrate is still debated, estimates yield figures that are significant compared with the global supplies of conventional natural gas. The existence of such a large and untapped energy resource has provided a strong global incentive to determine how methane might be produced from methane hydrate safely, economically, and in an environmentally sensible way.
Some of the remaining challenges to production identified by the committee include developing the technology necessary to produce methane from methane hydrate and understanding methane hydrate's potential to behave as a geohazard. For example, industry practice is to avoid methane-hydrate bearing areas during drilling for conventional oil and gas resources for safety reasons. However, avoidance will not be possible if methane hydrate is the production target. In addition, the committee recommended research and development areas for DOE’s program, such as designing production tests, appraising and mitigating environmental issues related to production, and determining with greater accuracy the methane hydrate resources on the Alaska North Slope and in marine reservoirs
I have been talking about this ocean floor stuff for years. IT is pretty clear to me that this is the source of petroleum. Subducted methane.
“Unfortunately, China lacks the capability to excavate the mineral.”
Nothing unfortunate about it. The more they are technologically delayed the better for us.
I think there was a post on FR about this earlier wherein Salazar nixed any US development of methane as an energy source - wind and solar only in US future.
> This sounds similar to napalm or sulfur. If a fire burns hotly enough, water only adds oxygen.
I’ve seen and held seen this stuff before. It’s more like waxy mothballs than anything else; but it burns like a can of Sterno except that the evolved steam from the water brings the temperature down a bit and the flame is yellow-orange instead of blue. To use this stuff effectively, you’d need to separate the methane from the water.
I’m not really an energy pinger. Just know a few FRiends who were interested. Best bet might be to check the key word list. FRegards ....
Thank you FRiend.
If EMC2 succeeds, the "Star Trek" future will become reality, and the need for fossil fuels will go away.
Helium3 is pretty major too.
Helium 3 is pretty rare on this earth. One of the really "hot" possibilities for the Bussard polywell is the possibility that it can "run" the proton-boron fusion chain. MUCH more and more readily available fuel than any of the other "aneutronic" fusion cycles.
Yeah, since BO is shutting down NASA, China [in theory] will gain a major H3 deposit on the moon, the perfect rocket fuel and great for revolutionary war machines. But we will overcome China to help fulfill the scriptures [Euprhates will block their military until it dries up, and that means our navy/air power will block them from anything but overland invasions.]
Sorry, but I don't see it. How exactly is He3 a "perfect rocket fuel" and "great for revolutionary war machines"? Fusion is fusion, and energy is energy. Although I certainly disagree with what Obama is doing to/with NASA.
Maybe you know more than me about it. I had read that a giant deposit is just begging for use on the moon, a more concentrated form of fuel than anything used yet.
Not to my understanding. The moon does have a lot of He3, but it has been deposited over the past megayears by the solar wind, and so is pretty evenly distributed across the top layer at relatively low levels (multiple ppb). Still far higher than any amount available on earth, but nothing in comparison to boron, which we have lots of, and readily available.
The importance of He3 seems to be that it is the only aneutronic reaction that "might" be doable in a Tokamak (p-B cannot be done in one, as the containment is not good enough). The Bussard Polywell can, in theory, be driven high enough to do p-B, and there is a test planned on the next WB (wiffleball) prototype to try it out, along with getting more data on the scaling laws of D-D in the polywell.
The exciting thing about He3 is that when combined with deuterium in a mirror fusion reactor, the output is protons and electrons. We’re talking 90%+ efficiency putting out pure DC current.
He3/De does not create neutrons, only Xrays when the particles hit the liner. In theory, you could put a He3 reactor next to an elementary school.
The problem is that the He3/De reaction produces tritium which will then fuse with the De and you get neutrons.
Thank you for the information. Guess my faith in helium was inflated. You popped my bubble.
Indeed, and the proton-boron reaction has the same advantage, with the pluses that the particle produced is a He4 nucleus, which is even easier to "stop" than a proton, and without the D-D side reactions
By no means did I intend any "bubble popping". Just want to be sure that the end result of the discussion is accurate. Whether you are right or I am right is irrelevant.
I want that "Star Trek" future for the human race, and not one where we move back into caves and eat nuts and berries and wear animal skins.
Helium humor, FRiend. =]
Subducted Methane turns into oil?
How do the laws of Physics get reversed?
Heat and Pressure break down oil into simpler components like methane. We do this every day in refineries in thermal crackers.
Can you really replicate that same intensity of heat and pressure?
Do you think entropy gets reversed if it is hot enough and has enough pressure?
Will water flow uphill if you just get high enough?
I am not a chemical engineer. I don’t know, but it seems to me that there are stable forms of various things at different energy levels. Sort of like a “roller coaster” except there is a place up there where if the car is settled in just right the car sits up there. Do we know there is no such place with methane?
We know entropy does not reverse itself regardless of temperature or pressure.
Wishful thinking does not create abiotic oil.
I hear you. These folks seem to be able to start with methane and end up with ethane and ethylene. I notice heat is involved. Again, I am not a chemical engineer, but it seems that it may be possible.
What is the source of free oxygen and cooling sequences necessary within the mantle?