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Japan taps gas from methane hydrate

Production testMethane hydrate is also famous as burnable or incendiary ice

Japan says it has successfully extracted healthy gas from solidified methane hydrate off a executive coast, in a universe first.

Methane hydrates, or clathrates, are a form of solidified “cage” of molecules of methane and water.

The gas margin is about 50km divided from Japan’s categorical island, in a Nankai Trough.

Researchers contend it could yield an choice appetite source for Japan that imports all a appetite needs.

Other countries including Canada, a US and China have been looking into ways of exploiting methane hydrate deposits as well.

Pilot experiments in new years, regulating methane hydrates found underneath land ice, have shown that methane can be extracted from a deposits.

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Methane clathrate – ‘Fire ice’

Fire ice

  • Hydrates, or clathrates, are a solidified reduction of H2O and gas, essentially methane
  • The methane molecules reside inside a H2O proton hideaway
  • The methane will light in ice form – hence a “fire ice” moniker
  • Clathrates tend to form underneath wintry temperatures and high pressures
  • They are found in sea sediments and underneath a permafrost on land
  • Vast deposits are suspicion to exist, rivalling famous pot of normal hoary fuels

Offshore deposits benefaction a potentially huge source of methane though also some environmental concern, since a underwater geology containing them is inconstant in many places.

“It is a world’s initial offshore examination producing gas from methane hydrate,” an central from a economy, trade and attention process told a AFP news agency.

A consult of a gas margin is being run by state-owned Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC).

Engineers used a depressurisation process that turns methane hydrate into methane gas.

Production tests are approaching to continue for about dual weeks.

Government officials have pronounced that they aim to settle methane hydrate prolongation technologies for unsentimental use within 5 years.

A Japanese investigate estimated that during slightest 1.1tn cubic metres of methane hydrate exist in offshore deposits.

This is a homogeneous of some-more than a decade of Japan’s gas consumption.

Japan has few healthy resources and a cost of importing fuel has increasing after a recoil opposite chief energy following a Fukushima chief disaster dual years ago.

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