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Science & Technology

World's hottest borehole is almost complete

By T.K. Randall
December 17, 2016 · Comment icon 7 comments

The extreme temperatures below the surface offer an excellent source of energy. Image Credit: USGS
Geologists have been drilling a 5km borehole in to rocks measuring in excess of 500 degrees Celsius.
The Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP), which is a collaboration between the Icelandic government and various science and industry groups, is aiming to create a new source of geothermal energy by drilling down in to a volcano on Iceland's Reykjanes peninsula.

The team's rig, which has been working non-stop since August, has already managed to drill down 4,500 meters and it is hoped it will reach the project's goal of 5,000 meters by the end of the year.

"We hope that this will open new doors for the geothermal industry globally to step into an era of more production," said CEO Asgeir Margeirsson.

"In this area at Reykjanes, we typically drill to 2km or 3km depth to harness the steam, to run power plants and produce clean, renewable electricity."
"We want to see if the resources go deeper than that."

At depths of 5km, the extreme heat and pressure is thought to produce what is known as "supercritical steam" which could produce up to 10 times as much energy as regular steam.

"It's getting hotter - and that's what we want," said chief geologist Gudmundur Omar Fridleifsson.

"We don't expect to drill into magma, but we are drilling into hot rock."

"And by hot rock, we mean 400 to 500C."

Source: BBC News | Comments (7)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by brlesq1 8 years ago
Friend of mine has a house that heats on geothermal. Says its much less expensive than regular.  
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
I like the idea of geothermal, but there are too many SciFi movies out there that have bad thing happen every time this is tried.  I know it's science fiction, but how much other fiction has come to pass.
Comment icon #3 Posted by qxcontinuum 8 years ago
so if we start harvesting the planets internal energy which keeps us alive... what is our future looking alike ?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Herr Falukorv 8 years ago
Sorry if Im slow or something but what do you mean?
Comment icon #5 Posted by blackstarraven 8 years ago
He is trying to say that we will 'use up' the earths geo-thermal energy.... And, I don't even know where to start pointing out the problem in that ideal... So I will simply say. "I have a bachelor's egree in Geography" From Eastern Kentucky University. "I have a master's degree in Geology" From George Washington University.   And that's... just wrong. Using up earths Geothermal Energy output is like trying to use up the Suns Solar Energy output.... The heat they are using is not 'being' used in any way that it would not be used naturally. It's just being moved to another location and used to... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by Myles 8 years ago
Hopefully they get this to work.   
Comment icon #7 Posted by The Narcisse 8 years ago
Coincidentally, "world's hottest borehole" was my nickname in high school...

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