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Chinese Coal Producer to Harvest Clean-Burning Combustible Ice

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As China expects a period of peak energy demand from 2020 to 2025, its largest coal producer, China Shenhua Group, now announced that it wants to start commercializing combustible ice, a gas hydrate (methane+water) found in the Qinghai province.

The country first made public the discovery of combustible ice in May 2007, under the bed of the South China Sea, followed by its discovery on land, in the Qinghai province in 2009.

Combustible ice is considered an alternative energy source and exists in areas where there’s enough pressure and the temperature is low enough to create it. It can be used like solid ethanol.

Actually, China owns the equivalent of 35 billion tons of oil in combustible ice, a huge energy resource that will surely not go unnoticed and unexploited.

As I’ve said a number of times before, oil and coal companies aren’t passionate about extracting oil or coal. Their shareholders only want money, and as these two resources go down over time, something as good has to fill the gap. I guess combustible ice is one of the options, but even solutions like solar or wind power aren’t going to be neglected by investors.

Research in the field of clean energy is utterly important for its development in the long run, even if we don’t really feel its effects these days.

[via chinadaily]

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