China collects new samples of combustible ice from the South China Sea with the hope to use it to develop clean energy. The Chinese hope that the samples will help to pave the way for using combustible ice as an eventual alternative to coal and oil. The move is considered to be important as China is heavily dependent on both these natural resources. Combustible ice is a type of natural gas hydrate and considered to be relatively clean energy. It is formed by natural gas and water in conditions of high pressure and low temperature. China discovered the ice in the South China Sea in May 2007, after nine years of researching.