12:12 GMT23 January 2021
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    China has extracted more than 300,000 cubic meters of combustible ice from the South China Sea in 60 days, breaking a world record for the total amount extracted and the length of time it took, the People's Daily reported Sunday.

    One cubic meter of combustible ice, a kind of natural gas hydrate, is equal to 164 cubic meters of regular natural gas.

    The steadiness of the flow of combustible ice and the safety with which the extraction was carried out also achieved historic breakthroughs. China has beaten expectations in completing trial explorations of combustible ice in the South China Sea, the report said. 

    The China Geological Survey will intensify its exploration to provide technical support to industrialize the resource.

    Combustible ice is usually found in seabed or tundra areas which have the high pressure and low temperatures needed for the ice to form and continue to exist. It can be ignited like solid ethanol, which is why it is called combustible or flammable ice, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

    China declared its first success in collecting samples of combustible ice in the South China Sea on May 18 after discovering the substance in the region in 2007. 

    The ice is being extracted at a test site at a depth of 1,266 meters below sea level, 285 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong. 

    Chinese scientists have made significant achievements in both technological and engineering terms in recent months, including reliable sand contamination prevention, environmental protection, safe and sustainable production, and adjusting gas production capacity, according to news site Chinanews.com. 

    Currently, more than 30 countries and regions have carried out research into combustible ice, and moderate progress has been made in recent years, people.com.cn reported.

    This article was first published in the Global Times.


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