With the growing concerns of climate change and our need for a more sustainable energy source, researchers may have hit on an interesting development in regards to the search for possible alternatives.
Buried below the seabed around Japan, there are beds of methane, trapped in molecular cages of ice. In some places, the sediment covering these deposits of frozen water and methane has been eroded away, leaving whitish mounts of what looks like dirty ice rearing up out of the seafloor.
Take a chunk of this stuff up to the surface and it looks and feels much like ice, except for a give-away fizzing sensation in the palm of your hand, but put a match to it and it doesn’t just melt, it ignites.
Now, it’s not a done deal just yet because there are several other factors that need to be taken into consideration but there have already been efforts done to ensure that methane hydrates could become a viable source of energy. – from the BBC
(Image credit: US Department of Energy)