Japan extracts 'fire ice' gas from seabed

Mar 12, 2013
This NASA satellite image received on April 7, 2005 shows Shikoku island (bottom, left) western Japan. A huge layer of methane hydrate containing 1.1 trillion cubic metres in natural gas is believed to lie in the ocean floor off the coast of Shikoku, officials said.

Japan said Tuesday it had successfully extracted methane hydrate, known as "fire ice", from its seabed, possibly unlocking many years' worth of gas for the resource-starved country.

In what they are claiming as a world first, a consortium is drilling for the hydrate, a fossil fuel that looks like ice but consists of very densely-packed methane surrounded by , one kilometre (3,300 feet) below sea level.

The solid white substance burns with a pale flame, leaving nothing but water. One cubic metre of it is estimated to contain many times the equivalent volume of methane in form.

The consortium, led by Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, began initial work in February last year and on Tuesday started a two-week experimental production, an economy, trade and industry ministry official said.

"It is the world's first offshore experiment producing gas from ," the official said, adding that the team successfully collected extracted from the half-frozen substance.

Under the project, the consortium is to separate methane—the primary component of natural gas—from the solid clathrate compound under the seabed using the high pressures available at depth, officials said.

A huge layer of methane hydrate containing 1.1 trillion cubic metres (38.5 trillion cubic feet) in natural gas—equivalent to Japan's consumption of the gas for 11 years—is believed to lie in the ocean floor off the coast of Shikoku island, western Japan, the officials said.

"We aim to establish methane hydrate production technologies for practical use by the fiscal 2018 year" ending March 2019, a consortium official said.

The move comes as resource-poor Japan has struck out in search of new energy supplies after it shut down its stable of nuclear reactors in the wake of 2011's tsunami-sparked .

Japan switched off its atomic reactors for safety checks following the disaster that saw a wall of water hit the Fukushima plant, crippling its cooling systems and sending reactors into meltdown.

Only two of the nation's 50 reactors are now operating, with more stringent safety standards and political nervousness in the wake of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986 keeping the rest out of action.

This has meant energy costs have shot up for Japan as it has been forced to buy pricey fossil-fuel alternatives.

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User comments : 46

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Birger
1 / 5 (8) Mar 12, 2013
Methane should be saved for the future affordable fuel cells that can extract the energy with high efficiency. Burning it is a waste.
Rolland
2.3 / 5 (7) Mar 12, 2013
Methane is a greenhouse gas. As the ice melts, it will be released in the atmosphere. Now, think about it if those methane will be released.
triplehelix
2.9 / 5 (8) Mar 12, 2013
Methane should be saved for the future affordable fuel cells that can extract the energy with high efficiency. Burning it is a waste.


And in the meantime the Japanese population can just freeze to death?
QuixoteJ
2.8 / 5 (10) Mar 12, 2013
I wonder how much methane will be released into the atmosphere when they go after this stuff. It's probably the only greenhouse gas worth worrying about.
cdt
3.7 / 5 (6) Mar 12, 2013
As a greenhouse gas, methane is much more potent than CO2, but also much shorter lived. In the long run it isn't as significant as CO2 in that respect. Of course, if mining this stuff ends up releasing huge quantities all that could change. The question is whether extracting the methane under pressure gives you a kind of built in safety -- if it gets away from you it might just form back into more methane hydrate and not make it out into the atmosphere. Of course you also have to worry about containing anything that you actually bring to the surface, and there will be a percentage that gets out as there is with natural gas. Whether that amount will be significant or not, though, will depend on how well they engineer things. I'm not betting either way at the moment.
Maggnus
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2013
@ QuixoteJ - cdt has it right, methane packs a wallop but dissipates (relatively) quickly, CO2 has less punch but sticks around for a long time.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (10) Mar 12, 2013
So jigga/zephyr
Japanese should invest into research of cold fusion and magnetic motors ASAP. This ignorance brings huge amount of problems into contemporary society already
What makes you think these magnetic motors work? You got any links besides one vid which shows a big device which could be full of batteries? People have been trying to build these for 100 years. Where's your evidence?
axemaster
4.3 / 5 (9) Mar 12, 2013
As a greenhouse gas, methane is much more potent than CO2, but also much shorter lived. In the long run it isn't as significant as CO2 in that respect.

Methane breaks down into water and CO2. So it's much worse than CO2 alone, because methane has both the extreme short term impact, and the smaller long term impact.

Japanese should invest into research of cold fusion and magnetic motors ASAP.

Perpetual motion machines don't work. And nobody will ever believe cold fusion until it's demonstrated in a clear, reproducible manner. In other words, quit wasting our time. If you want to change the world, do it yourself instead of whining endlessly at us.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2013
Yes, and the planes heavier than air are impossible
Ive seen plenty of planes flying. I myself have ridden in some. I have yet to see a real perpetual motion machine made out of magnets or anything else for that matter, which worked, despite 100 years of tinkering and gadgetry.

I do remember seeing a clanking wheel with ball bearings at Ripleys Believe it or What when I was a kid, but I think they had to give it a push every so often. Hey maybe they would pay you for an AWT display?

Here let me help you out:

"BSMH-Yildiz' All-Magnet-Motor 30-Day University Test Pending

"This month, a leading European university will be conducting a thorough, academically-rigorous, peer-reviewed, independent, scientific test of Turkish Inventor, Muammer Yildiz' all-magnet motor...it will open a new scientific revolution."
http://pesn.com/2...Pending/

-It sounds like they are being a little over-optimistic doesnt it?
DavidW
1 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2013
http://www.worldw...ange.pdf

"In 2006, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) reported that livestock accounted for 18% of greenhouse gases, making livestock emissions "one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems." However recently, Worldwatch Institute, a Washington D.C. environmental think-tank, reported that livestock emissions actually account for 51% of greenhouse gases."

So, are we going to stop "needlessly" killing and enslaving now?

Evidence of needless:
http://www.eatrig...?id=8357
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.7 / 5 (6) Mar 12, 2013
Hey dave, we took all those bovines out of the forests and the great plains and gave them something useful to do. Have you factored auroch and buffalo outgassing into your equations? You may find a net loss. Also, fruits and legumes give me much excess gas. I think this is quite common and must be factored in as well.

If god didnt want us to eat animals why did he make them out of meat?
Kinetics
3 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2013
I am curious to learn how they drill for the methane hydrate and how do they transport it? If refrigeration and high pressure is required then you will have to worry about sorts of logistical nightmares in storage and transportation from seafloor to shore refinement plants.
Plus switching over to Methane based power infrastructure from Nuclear will be a challenge in it's own right. New plants and tech will need to be learned and pioneered. Meaning mistakes will be made.
All I can say is good luck and the world is watching.
RealScience
5 / 5 (2) Mar 12, 2013
@Kinietics - once the methane is extracted from the methane hydrate (which happens automatically when the pressure is released), it is just natural gas and can be handled by the existing natural gas infrastructure.
baudrunner
3.3 / 5 (6) Mar 12, 2013
The Japanese have achieved something here, but there is a potential problem in "mining" this substance. The 1.1 trillion cubic metres of trapped methane will leave a large void when it is all removed and that could lead to settlement of the strata from which it is extracted if it is not replaced with some substance of equal mass and density. The area is already an earthquake hotspot.
VendicarE
3 / 5 (2) Mar 12, 2013
"Black water shall elevate thy children to the heavens. Purify it. But thou shalt not combine it in a ratio greater than one kikkar to twenty shekkels, nor shalt thou burn rocks. Thus saith the lord." - Dead Sea Scrolls
Q-Star
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2013
@Kinietics - once the methane is extracted from the methane hydrate (which happens automatically when the pressure is released), it is just natural gas and can be handled by the existing natural gas infrastructure.


Good point. I'm not well versed in earth sciences so I had to look it up.

As to the existing infrastructure, that's a good point too,,,, additionally because they are going to be (re)building infrastructure (and lots of it) to replace that damaged in the quake and tsunami. That in and of itself should be a decade long endeavor and they may as well expand their options since they're "building" anyway.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (6) Mar 12, 2013
What makes you think these magnetic motors work?
Because I do understand how these motors work in similar way, like I do understand, how cold fusion works and I know about at least four another independent constructions of magnetic motor, which are otherwise quite similar and allegedly working too. One researcher means nothing very much, but when the same construction is claimed at five different places of the world, then it could really mean something. In addition, I saw the Yildiz motor demo at Delft university, during which the motor has been partially dismantled before eyes of another forty people. Mr. Yildiz would be crazy genius, if you would manage to cheat the forty physicists under such a circumstances.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (6) Mar 12, 2013
I have yet to see a real perpetual motion machine made out of magnets or anything else for that matter, which worked, despite 100 years of tinkering and gadgetry
The first cold fusion experiments are from 1926 year - and now we can be sure from the latest experiments, they weren't artifact, but a real effect - juts the blind disbelief of physicists has lead into their dismissal. So if physicists managed to ignore the dense aether model or scalar waves or cold fusion for nearly century - why not the magnetic motors? It would rather sound like the rule than the exception for me.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2013
Because I do understand how these motors work in similar way, like I do understand, how cold fusion works
But they work differently. And NASA, the navy, and many universities are not investigating these gadgets because they were debunked generations ago. You were born since then, right? Yesterday?
and I know about at least four another independent constructions of magnetic motor, which are otherwise quite similar and allegedly working too
"As of April, 2012, we do not know of anyone who has successfully replicated one of these motors, though many have tried" -crank news
http://freeenergy...n_Motor/

-I dont know. Do magnets do work by holding up pictures on your fridge? Does a nail do work holding wood together? Are molecular bonds doing work? Where do electrons get their energy from and why dont their orbits decay? Why is there air?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2013
the Yildiz motor demo at Delft university, during which the motor has been partially dismantled
Correct and as I understand it there was plenty of room not shown which could have accommodated batteries. But thats hearsay.
So if physicists managed to ignore the dense aether model or scalar waves or cold fusion for nearly century - why not the magnetic motors?
Why not the hydrino? Why not metaphysics? Why not a personal god to dress up and show to your friends like barbie?

Some things are nonsense and some arent. Like ZPE.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (6) Mar 12, 2013
But they work differently
Nope, they don't - they're all very similar each other. Torrian motor from Argentina, Yildiz motor from Turkey and Perendev motor from Russia for comparison. They all contain permanent cylindrical magnets in angled position against the central wheel organized in similar way. They just differ in technical details, enabling the control of power (once the magnetic motor runs, it's difficult to stop it).
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2013
Why not the hydrino
IMO hydrino theory is fringe logically at trivial level - if the energy would be released with creation of metastable hydrino particles, what would happen, if the hydrino would decompose back into common hydrogen? The energy would be returned back, as the hydrino doesn't leave the reactor! But for example this experiment points to possible existence of subquantum states of relativistic electrons within atoms - maybe not everything is wrong about hydrinos, but it's difficult to say for me in this moment. At any case, the Mills experiments suffer with the same ignorance and apparent lack of interest if not attempts for replication from the side of mainstream physics, like any other finding of alternative science.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2013
Torrian motor from Argentina
I think a motor is hidden in the thick plastic supports. Why so thick? Why not plexiglas?
Perendev motor from Russia
Again with the thick opaque HDPE. I see an extension cord in the backround. Why is there green carpet in his laboratory?

Im sorry Im not convinced.
Q-Star
3 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2013
IMO hydrino theory is fringe logically at trivial level - ,,,


I just can not believe ya of all people would have the temerity to say that about ANYONE,,,

,,,if the energy would be released with creation of metastable hydrino particles, what would happen, if the hydrino would decompose back into common hydrogen? The energy would be returned back, as the hydrino doesn't leave the reactor! But for example http://phys.org/n...ate.html points to possible existence of subquantum states of relativistic electrons within atoms - maybe not everything is wrong about hydrinos, but it's difficult to say for me in this moment. At any case, the Mills experiments suffer with the same ignorance and apparent lack of interest if not attempts for replication from the side of mainstream physics, like any other finding of alternative science.


Ya lost me, again, could ya dumb that down a little for my benefit?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2013
Mills has validation reports
http://www.blackl...reports/

-Business partners, financial backing, and a plan
http://www.blackl...summary/

-And is working on reactors
http://www.blackl...ht-cell/

"The goals are 50 times increase in surface power density in 2012 and a 1.5 kW unit by 2013."

-What does yildiz have? A gadget he keeps hidden behind his entertainment console.
ValeriaT
2.7 / 5 (7) Mar 12, 2013
Dr. Randell Mills from Blacklight Power Ltd. is saying, the energy in his reactor is produced with formation of unstable form of hydrogen with quantum number 1/2n. But because the hydrino doesn't leave the reactor, it's just unstable intermediate - so that the energy released during its formation must be consumed back. So until the hydrino doesn't leave the reactor, it cannot generate the free energy by itself. But I would recommend you to become familiar with subject first - it's difficult to explain the stuff, which you don't know. It's like the explanation of principle of rocket the people, who did never see any flying machine. It just mentally hurts both sides.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2013
,,,if the energy would be released with creation of metastable hydrino particles, what would happen, if the hydrino would decompose back into common hydrogen?
Maybe they get flushed into the chem sewer before that can happen. It would make a nice refrigeration cycle I would think. Like a heat pump.
But I would recommend you to become familiar with subject first - it's difficult to explain the stuff, which you don't know.
Uh I dont have to - I visit the site which shows a company full of knowledgeable people who I have to assume have already thought about this pretty obvious question.

I am sure the answer is there somewhere. Why dont you look?

Perhaps this guy has your answer:
http://www.blackl...port.pdf
Q-Star
3 / 5 (6) Mar 12, 2013
it's difficult to explain the stuff, which you don't know.


I'm going to give a five for that part of the post. That is the truest thing ya have ever written Zephyr, bar none.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2013
A gadget he keeps hidden behind his entertainment console.
Yildiz will present his motor at April 10-14 Inventors Expo in Geneva - so we'll see. Of course, he should protect his intellectual property like any other inventor - but it seems for me, Mr. Yildiz is not overly secretive about the details of his technology.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2013
it's difficult to explain the stuff, which you don't know.


I'm going to give a five for that part of the post. That is the truest thing ya have ever written Zephyr, bar none.
Yah I get this from philos all the time.
Yildiz will present his motor at April 10-14 Inventors Expo in Geneva
And may I assume that there will also be inventors with electric spoons and mouse traps which actually chase down their victims? That would sell-
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2013
it's difficult to explain the stuff, which you don't know.
Which is why I'm trying to explain the dense aether model with physics of Victorian era. But you apparently don't know it too. It's difficult to explain the physics the people, who don't know about physics.

BTW Delft University asks for 30 day test duration of Yildiz motor, which is apparent nonsense. If these trolls aren't able to recognize the 1 kiloWatt perpetuum mobile after one hour of test, they're not apparently competent to judge it all. This is just a sad side of the contemporary science.
Q-Star
3 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2013
it's difficult to explain the stuff, which you don't know.


I'm going to give a five for that part of the post. That is the truest thing ya have ever written Zephyr, bar none.
Yah I get this from philos all the time.


Unlike Zephyr, I'm not bold enough to spend the entire day explaining stuff I don't know. I have trouble with the stuff I do know.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2013
If these trolls aren't able to recognize the 1 kiloWatt perpetuum mobile after one hour of test
But it wouldnt be perpetual motion if it quit after 2 hours now would it? I think that thing at Ripleys would run for a few hours anyway.
Unlike Zephyr, I'm not bold enough to spend the entire day explaining stuff I don't know.
And now you are making him sound like kevin-
Which is why I'm trying to explain the dense aether model with physics of Victorian era. But you apparently don't know it too. It's difficult to explain the physics the people, who don't know about physics.
So READ the blacklight website and FIND OUT what the people there, who DO seem to know physics, have to say? Mills wrote a whole TOE. You should be friends.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2013
I have trouble with the stuff I do know
Because you don't understand it. If you would understand it, I mean, if you could imagine it in your head, you would learn it more smoothly. Magnets, HOW do they work?
But it wouldn't be perpetual motion if it quit after 2 hours now would it?
You couldn't hide one kilowatt of energy in block of pure aluminum and magnets. It would be overunity device anyway and as such factual perpetuum mobile for mainstream physics.
Q-Star
3.3 / 5 (7) Mar 12, 2013
And now you are making him sound like kevin-


I didn't mean to do that,,,,, I've much more respect for Zephyr than for Kevin. At least Zephyr will attempt to back up his ideas and musings (if ya can call them such).

Kevin on the other hand always falls back on: "Everything I can't explain is done by God and if ya were as smart I as I am, ya'd know that anything ya think ya know is wrong because God must have done it because I can't explain it." In other words, Kevin is an intellectual coward (and mentally lazy.) No so Zephyr.
ValeriaT
1 / 5 (5) Mar 12, 2013
So READ the blacklight website and FIND OUT what the people there
This is not my approach. I think like Mr. Galileo: the bad order of Venus phases just means, whole the epicycle model is wrong. I don't need to read any more details about it.

So, maybe the hydrino exists, maybe not - but when it doesn't leave the reactor, then its formation cannot be the source of excessive energy. In addition, the construction of Mills reactor is strikingly similar to construction of E-Cat of Andrea Rossi and Piantelli's experiments - so I've absolutely no reason for not to consider, the cold fusion happens there. No exotic hydrino is required for the explanation of heat formation. The observations of anomalous heat during using of Raney nickel is quite old (R.J.Kokes and P.H. Anderson: Journal of American Chemical Society, 81,5032 (1959)). IMO Andrea Rossi is using a Raney nickel too.
trekgeek1
5 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2013
So jigga/zephyr
Japanese should invest into research of cold fusion and magnetic motors ASAP. This ignorance brings huge amount of problems into contemporary society already
What makes you think these magnetic motors work? You got any links besides one vid which shows a big device which could be full of batteries? People have been trying to build these for 100 years. Where's your evidence?


That's probably the most frustrating thing about those hoaxes. Why don't people just buy the blueprints from the YouTube video if they think they work? They think they have a free energy device and the person wants to sell the plans for it, but they never do it. They claim the government would hunt them down, but the video has been up for years with no federal thuggery. If you think those devices work and you are paying for electricity from the grid, you are a hypocrite.
baudrunner
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2013
Magnetic motors exist. There are whole bunches of designs for them, and many working prototypes. Some even accelerate as they turn, as should happen with perpetual motion machines, which is technically what they are. But they can't do work. You stop them by braking them easily using your hand. So they're pretty much useless, because they slow down or stop altogether the second you put a load on them. Big deal.
NotParker
1 / 5 (4) Mar 13, 2013
Fossil Fuels Forever!
PPihkala
not rated yet Mar 13, 2013
Baudrunner:
Watch the Yildiz motor video and you will notice that they have a fan attached as a load. And it does create a lot of wind as is evident from that video.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Mar 13, 2013
but when it doesn't leave the reactor, then its formation cannot be the source of excessive energy
This critical analysis apparently allows the possibility that a stable lower energy state could persist in the presence of an exotic catalyst, which is what mills is claiming for his hydrino:
http://www.esa.in...rino.pdf

-Otherwise you might consider an ice-9 scenario.

"Dr. K.V. Ramanujachary, Rowan University Meritorious Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry ..."The CIHT cells constantly output stable, very high-gain electrical power for more than a month, with H2O as the only source of fuel for the process. The trace H2O vapor was supplied by a water source, or alternatively, it was extracted directly from the air..."
http://inhabitat....lidated/
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Mar 13, 2013
is strikingly similar to construction of E-Cat of Andrea Rossi and Piantelli's experiments - so I've absolutely no reason for not to consider, the cold fusion happens there. No exotic hydrino is required for the explanation of heat formation.
-But what they are claiming is equally as exotic. Even widom Larsen slow neutrons is exotic.
baudrunner
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 13, 2013
@PPihkala: Okay, a fan is one thing. It is attached to the shaft, and it probably can't be made a whole lot larger because then air resistance, or even its mass, would slow it down or stop it altogether. A simple (perpetual) wall clock might be an application, because they require so little torque, but I don't think it is very practical to mount one of these motors on a wall. But I doubt very much that they'll ever get the thing to drive a turbo prop, or a car, for that matter. Or any other kind of machinery.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Mar 13, 2013
@PPihkala: Okay, a fan is one thing. It is attached to the shaft, and it probably can't be made a whole lot larger because then air resistance, or even its mass, would slow it down or stop it altogether. A simple (perpetual) wall clock might be an application, because they require so little torque, but I don't think it is very practical to mount one of these motors on a wall. But I doubt very much that they'll ever get the thing to drive a turbo prop, or a car, for that matter. Or any other kind of machinery.
How would you know any of this? Youre making assumptions about some gadget you saw in a youtube vid which is probably a hoax.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (2) Mar 16, 2013
Methane burns much cleaner than most of the "fossil" fuels we use now, and it's much easier to store and transport than pure hydrogen.

I'm not sure why the Japanese would try to process the material at depth. Why not build some sort of pump mechanism which can suck the ice up in the water column to a lower pressure, where it would simply convert back to gas as the temperature rises and pressures drop?

I'm thinking something like a screw pump. You know, break it up, but you get a good surround on the debris and just push it up through a big hose.

It's still a lot of work compared to an ordinary well operation. EIEO ratio is going to suck compared to a well.
baudrunner
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 16, 2013
How would you know any of this?
Because magnetism is a source of potential energy that can be harnessed to create something like this.