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Not so much a thought experiment as a single neuron misfire.
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With advances in mining technology and geothermal
production (durable carbon nanowires conducting GTE)
other innovations combined with the worlds increasing
water shortage there has never been a better time in
history to attempt this.
If dirty water were re-directed to a hole
earth filtered through a sand/ mineral mud barrier via
gravity providing an initial cleaning and then the base of
potable water to the underground heating chamber to be
piped up via steam to an above ground distillation
where it can be processed as clean water.
Carbon nanotubes pulling heat/energy up from deeper in
the earth to provide an auxiliary heat source to heat the
pool of water gathered. In the vat of water filled with
carbon for increased heat absorption/evaporation (see
link) the process of evaporation and collecting would
While it may be very dangerous to drill deep under the
earth and deal with increased pressure high
eventually underground mining drones would help make
this more practical.
Updates in carbon nano technology (tubes, particles)
shown a great potential in heat transfer which provide
evaporation at lower temperatures. The steam would
have to travel a fair distance but if enough pressure was
built in the Geothermal Distillation Chamber it would be
Carbon conductivity [Duck Lagrange, Nov 17 2015, last modified Nov 18 2015]
Magma is tappable
The problem isn't the temperature of any magma into which you might drill, but the pressure associated with it. If the pressure can be relieved safely (and do keep in mind the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which ONLY had pressure not temperature to contain), then all that magma heat will become quite useful. [Vernon, Nov 18 2015]
magma temps 700 to 1300 c
What are pressures ? [popbottle, Nov 19 2015]
||you had me until "carbon nanotubes"
||The steam coming off those places at Yellowstone smells nasty. Wouldn't this water be contaminated with various volatiles? The fracking people know, I bet.
||Maybe just use a ceramic heat exchanger.
||//Carbon nanotubes pulling heat/energy up from
deeper in the earth// I suspect that that is
technobollocks. "Techno-" inasmuch as carbon
nanotubes may be great heat conductors, and
"bollocks" in that it would be impractical. Cheaper
and better by far to use copper.
||You didn't really think this one through, did you,
||Wouldn't this just leave all of the impurities trapped below the aquifer to eventually leach up into the water table?
||I bet carbon would be much more durable than copper in a hot, wet, salty environment.
||I bet a carbon nanotube would last about 2 seconds.
There's this thing called carbon dioxide.
||"Although thermodynamically prone to oxidation, carbon resists oxidation more effectively than elements such as iron and copper that are weaker reducing agents at room temperature." - Wikipedia.
||[2 fries] That would depend on how deep/far away it was
from the water source but the good thing about vapor
distillation it gets rid of a wide variety of impurities.
||[Maxwell] Copper would melt at those extreme temperatures.
I wasn't introducing the concept of carbon nanotubes
harnessing geothermal energy, which is already in use &
||//carbon nanotubes harnessing geothermal energy,
which is already in use// Citation?
||"Magma is a complex high-temperature fluid substance. Temperatures of most magmas are in the range 700 °C to 1300 °C (or 1300 °F to 2400 °F), but very rare carbonatite magmas may be as cool as 600 °C, and komatiite magmas may have been as hot as 1600 °C. Most magmas are silicate mixtures." see link
||Or...skip all that weird stuff and just pump millions of
gallons of grain alcohol into a hot springs.
||[popbottle], in answer to your annotation question, the
important point is that volcanic pressures are
for such things as blowing the top of Mount St. Helens to
smithereens. Normally the weight of ground-mass
the pressure to build, if there is no regular venting (like,
say, happens a lot at Mount Etna). If a long-unvented
magma pool is tapped, like, say, the Yellowstone
Supervolcano, well, that could be risky in terms of
pressures that would need to be handled safely, to
a huge disaster, if we wanted to drill thermal energy
taps into the magama.
||// the magama// pah-tee pah-teepee.
||Yellowstone supervolcano.. huge disaster..
what's not to like?
||Wouldn't that be a better use of the ISIS
pennies, fronting an IPO for this, rather than all
that tedious running around shooting people?