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Hydrogen “Rocket” Bores Through Granite for Deep Geothermal Wells

A scientist named Jared Potter has created a couple of prototypes for deep drilling for geothermal energy. Right now, companies are using diamond drill bits for grinding through granite and other compact rocks in order to tap into geothermal energy far below the Earth’s surface.

The first prototype is called a Flame Jet Drill and it works by using hydrogen heated to 3200 degrees F and drills through granite three times as fast as a traditional drill, with no breakage of drill bits. The superheated hydrogen does not melt the rock into magma as one would imagine but rather causes the granite to fragment and the outcome is a perfectly round hole.

The second prototype that Potter is working on is for deep water drilling for geothermal energy. The Hydrothermal drill superheats hydrogen to 7200 degrees F, which in turns heats a jet of water that serves to drill through granite and other hard rock.

Deep drilling for geothermal energy has long been a dream with many scientists with limited success. With Jared Potter’s prototypes soon to be commercialized the dream may turn into reality more quickly that previously imagined.

About Kevin

Kevin is both an environmentalist and a tech guy and has been writing, editing and publishing this blog since 2007. He answers questions related to how you can use tech to go greener.

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