July 19, 2024

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Noteworthy: Geothermal energy 2.0 through drilling for magma

Noteworthy: Geothermal energy 2.0 through drilling for magma

With all its volcanic activity, it’s no surprise that Iceland is a geothermal star. sun 90 percent All homes on the island are heated using geothermal energy. But Iceland now wants to take geothermal energy to a completely different level. She is looking for a way to use the intense heat of magma for a more efficient energy system.

According to researchers from Krafla Magma Test (KMT), this new research is “what the Hadron Collider is to particle physics.” As the name suggests, the team wants to drill into magma chambers deep within the Earth. The intense heat of this molten rock can be used to extract energy.

Supercritical water

The reason large magmas are so attractive to researchers is the fact that the heat released by molten rock can push water to a “supercritical” state. This happens when water is heated above 373°C under a pressure of 220 bar. Then the water turns into a substance that is neither liquid nor gaseous. In this supercritical state, water can carry ten times more energy than if it were a liquid or vapor. Its use can significantly improve the energy efficiency of geothermal energy. Moreover, it is a clean, CO2-free source of energy.

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