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Lava wells

Free energy and construction materials
  [vote for,

Drill a hole through the earth's crust down to the magma layer. Put a double skinned lining made of extremely strong refractory material down the hole, with an outer layer of insulator. Cap the hole.

Liquid magma flows up though the outer skin to the cap. Heat can be extracted for domestic or indistrial reasons. The slightly cooler but still liquid lava is returned to the mantle via the inner tube (using something like an Ogden pump for steam condensate), where heat from the rising outer stream keeps it liquid.

For buliding, molten lava is tapped from the well by a fire hose type nozzle and squirted into frames where it cools into solid, resilient, durable structures. Cheap and environmentally friendly.

8th of 7, Jun 13 2002

Calderal Garbage Dumps http://www.halfbake...l_20Garbage_20Dumps
[phoenix, Jun 13 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Geothermal power http://geothermal.marin.org/pwrheat.html
The USA already generates 2700 MW from geothermal power, using steam turbines. [pottedstu, Jun 14 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Lava House https://web.archive...ssays/essay309.php3
This woman is one of my favo(u)rite people in L.A. [thumbwax, Jun 14 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

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       Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of lava,   

       Jack fell down and burnt his crown,   

       and Jill came screaming after.
dag, Jun 13 2002

       The voice of the Collective is particularly loud today ... oooh, time for our medication ......
8th of 7, Jun 13 2002

       Very similar to geothermic electricity production. Half-baked on Jim Hensons 'Dinosaurs'.
[ sctld ], Jun 13 2002

       Well, that rather depends on whether it's a basic or acidic lava, and the gas content. Yes, you could in some circumstances get a friable silicate foam with little structural integrity, but take a look at some of the granites .... you won't do much better for structural strength.   

       With a bit of R&D you could probably extract the disolved gases and tap them off for industrial uses. There's a lot of sulphur dioxide which could be converted to sulphuric acid.   

       It would depend on where you drilled and how deep. If you went deep enough, surely you'd get a nicke/iron alloy ? That's not what we'd call "friable" ...
8th of 7, Jun 13 2002

       I'm so sorry eighth, you have spent time replying to a comment of mine which I have deleted as soon as I posted it. I deleted it because I felt I was taking myself a bit too seriously and didn't want to cast a dampener on your thought. I am also thrilled to see that I am not the only person in the world that mistypes building.
Fond regards
IvanIdea, Jun 13 2002

       //but take a look at some of the granites .... you won't do much better for structural strength//

really... and aside from budgetary concerns, have you told the client how long it takes magma, not lava, to cool into a granite? If they want their house within a year they may be likely to end up with a pumice-walled construction, which frankly looks like breeze block.
gosh, I'm showing my colours now..
sappho, Jun 13 2002

       Ivanidea: "Perhaps you would like to explain that to the Emperor. He is not as forgiving as I am.... "
8th of 7, Jun 13 2002

       Sappho: We can tell from your post you've not had a lot of contact with builders ...   

       Pumice walled construction ? Yes, in England we have things called "Barratt homes". Not quite as durable ...
8th of 7, Jun 13 2002

       Au contrary, i think [sappho] has much contact with buliders and is thinking along the sme lines as I am.
[8th] please don't think I am indulging in pedantry, I genuinely do mistype that word. I am also unable to pronounce the word "digital".
IvanIdea, Jun 13 2002

       I'm surprised at you, for the little time it takes to spell it right you should pronounce it right in even less time.   

       I'm waiting for the “Hey, pumice floats!” thread to separate from this discussion.
reensure, Jun 14 2002

       Existing geothermal power plants use steam/water rather than magma, which is rather easier to control. Water can be pumped down, heated, and then used to drive turbines on the surface. Rather nicer than molten rock, since steam turbine technology is well established, and probably safer.
pottedstu, Jun 14 2002

       Also easier to clean once it's cooled down.
angel, Jun 14 2002

       There will always be a hippie to complain about some sort of environmental impact like all of the noxious gasses that are let out of hot lava, and then, after you cap those then someone would complain about how you're adding to global warming from heat alone; but I think it's a great idea, mostly for the energy that you could tap into.
elvatoedwardo, May 10 2004


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