Dragon Water Could Power The Planet

Dragon Water Could Power The PlanetUnlimited renewable power lies below geothermal regions, such as in Iceland. Image: Milan Nykodym via Flickr

The quest is on to develop new technology that can tap the intense heat deep below the Earth’s surface and supply the whole world with electricity.

An ambitious project is being launched to drill deep into the Earth’s crust to harness super-heated “dragon water” that would generate massive quantities of renewable energy.

Unlike traditional geo-thermal heat, which exploits hot rocks to produce steam for turbines, this project goes far deeper − to where the pressure and temperature are huge but the potential benefits are 10 times as great.

There is an infinite amount of energy beneath the Earth’s crust. The problem is the technology to harness it.

The European Union (EU) believes that deep drilling techniques developed by the oil industry can be adapted to extract the energy. It has earmarked €15.6 million for a project in which potentially the world’s most energy-rich geothermal well will be drilled at Larderello in Tuscany, Italy.

Formidable Challenge

The technical challenges are formidable because of the intense heat and pressure that will turn steel brittle and wreck electrical equipment, so the plan is to develop engineering tools that can withstand the conditions.

Iceland, which already exploits traditional geo-thermal energy successfully, has tried and failed to harness super-heated rock. But it has not given up, and a second attempt is being planned.

The EU believes using oil company expertise in drilling deep wells will be the key to success.

At a depth of between two to three kilometres, the conditions change dramatically and the drillers will encounter what has been called “dragon water”. No one has previously managed to control the forces unleashed in a well under such extreme high temperature and pressure conditions.

Roar Nybø, a physicist at SINTEF Petroleum Research, explains: “One of the major uncertainties is the presence of what we call supercritical fluids.

“At depths of two to three kilometres in the Earth’s interior, ambient physical conditions change dramatically. Something very special happens when temperatures reach 374 degrees and the pressure 218 times the air pressure at the surface. We encounter what we call supercritical water.

“The dragon of the deep may help us open a real treasure trove”

“It isn’t a liquid, and nor is it steam. It occurs in a physical form incorporating both phases, and this means that it takes on entirely new properties. Supercritical water behaves like a powerful acid, and will attack anything – including electronics and drilling equipment. In a TV fantasy series, it would probably be called ‘dragon water’.”

But the dragon water has major advantages too, Nybø says. The fluid can transport from depth up to 10 times more energy than normal water and steam can achieve in a standard geothermal well. It also flows more easily through rock fractures and pores.

If researchers can succeed in controlling the forces involved, without the technology breaking down, then a new and vast source of energy can be tapped anywhere in the world.

Potential Revenues

Another potential advantage is that supercritical water can also transport valuable minerals to the surface in solution. This could provide potential incidental revenues. “The dragon of the deep may thus help us open a real treasure trove,” Nybø says.

The depths to which engineers have to drill to achieve the desired temperatures will vary from country to country, due to variations in the thickness of the Earth’s crust and the geothermal gradient.

In Norway, temperature increases by about 20 degrees per kilometre, while in other parts of the world, this may be as high as 40 degrees per kilometre. The average is about 25 degrees.

Geothermal energy is being developed across the world and has huge potential in every continent. Countries currently leading the way in the generation of electricity from geothermal sources are the US, the Philippines, Mexico, Indonesia and Italy. – Climate News Network

About the Author

brown paulPaul Brown is the joint editor of Climate News Network. He is a former environment correspondent for The Guardian newspaper and teaches journalism in developing countries. He has written 10 books − eight on environmental subjects, including four for children − and written scripts for television documentaries. He can be reached at [email protected]

Global Warning: The Last Chance for Change by Paul Brown.Book by this Author:

Global Warning: The Last Chance for Change
by Paul Brown.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.


 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

More Articles By This Author

You May Also Like

INNERSELF VOICES

illustration of a film strip with various scenic pictures on each frame
Designing a New Future for Yourself
by Carl Greer PhD, PsyD
In the physical world, things have a past and a future, a beginning, and an end. For example, I’m…
teacher standing in front of students in an open classroom
Becoming Passionate About Public Education Again
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
We are almost all lucky to have someone in our lives to encourage and motivate us and try to show…
Aurora photo by Valerie Pond, October 10, 2021, Yellowknife, NT, Canada
Horoscope Current Week: October 11 - 17, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
Flower growing through a chain-link fence
So Many Questions... So Many Answers?
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
We go through life with so many questions. Some are simple. What day is it? What will I have for…
rainbow over a field
Give Yourself Time, Be Kind, and Heal in Your Own Way
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
Unfortunately many of us have become victims of instant gratification. We want to succeed and we…
woman's head with a crack and with tree growing from the back of her head
Opening to a Whole New Way of Being
by Rabbi Wayne Dosick
Sometimes a pandemic—no matter how devastating—is just a pandemic. But sometimes— most times—it is…
Image of an open book floating in the sky with a tree growing out of the open book
Do You Believe in Miracles?
by Barry Vissell
Albert Einstein famously said, "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing…
a rainbow in the palm of an open hand
Finding Silver Linings and Rainbows
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
Be open to discovering the gifts life is offering you -- expect silver linings and rainbows, be on…
Begging or Choosing? The Best Way To Predict The Future Is To Create It
Begging or Choosing? The Best Way To Predict The Future Is To Create It
by Alan Cohen
We always have many choices before us. If we believe we must grovel, plead, or struggle to manifest…
Claiming the World Anew: The Divine As You and As All Things
Claiming the World Anew: The Divine As You and As All Things
by Paul Selig
You are not the one you think you are. You believe yourself to be what you thought you were, and…
Remember What’s Important Because Every Moment is Precious
Remember What’s Important Because Every Moment is Precious
by Alan Cohen
How much more meaningful would our moments with loved ones be if we treated them as if this might…

MOST READ

How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
by Jackie Cassell, Professor of Primary Care Epidemiology, Honorary Consultant in Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
The precarious economies of many traditional seaside towns have declined still further since the…
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
by Sonja Grace
As you experience being an earth angel, you will discover that the path of service is riddled with…
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
by Barbara Berger
One of the biggest things I've discovered working with clients everyday is how extremely difficult…
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
by Lucy Delap, University of Cambridge
The 1970s anti-sexist men’s movement had an infrastructure of magazines, conferences, men’s centres…
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
by Susan Campbell, Ph.D.
According to most of the singles I have met in my travels, the typical dating situation is fraught…
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
by Glen Park
Flamenco dancing is a delight to watch. A good flamenco dancer exudes an exuberant self-confidence…
Giving Up All Hope Could Be Beneficial For You
Giving Up All Hope Could Be Beneficial For You
by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
If you're waiting for a change and frustrated it's not happening, maybe it would be beneficial to…
An Astrologer introduces the Nine Dangers of Astrology
An Astrologer introduces the Nine Dangers of Astrology
by Tracy Marks
Astrology is a powerful art, capable of enhancing our lives by enabling us to understand our own…

follow InnerSelf on

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconinstagram iconpintrest iconrss icon

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWdanltlfifrdeeliwhihuiditjakomsnofaplptroruesswsvthtrukurvi

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com | InnerSelf Market
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.