Imagine lighting fire to a hard-packed snowball to get warm! While that may sound impossible, Tim Collett, a research geologist from Denver, Colorado seems to think it is not only possible, but that it may be the best way to produce clean energy in the future.
However, the ice in question is not just any ice, but a special kind that has methane gas molecules locked inside it. As a result, the cloudy-looking ice particles burn, when they come in contact with a match.
'Burning ice' was discovered over a decade ago and can be found in abundance in the Arctic region, as well as, in marine sediments on the floor of the oceans. However, it is only recently that scientists have started to examine it as a source for alternative green energy.
Some scientists believe that the methane hydrates will provide a cleaner, less polluting source of energy, as compared to current fuels. Others are nervous that the frozen methane may become unstable during mining or transportation, which would result in the release of a gas that is ten times worse than carbon dioxide.
Nobody knows what the outcome will be, and it may take a few years of testing before 'burning ice' becomes a reality. But if scientists can figure it out, it will be a great green energy alternative. Also, it would be cool to have things powered by these strange, ice-like nuggets wouldn't it?
sources: news.thomasnet.com, wikipedia.com, impactlab.com, dailymail.co.uk