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Drilling into supercritical fluids and seismic, research in Italy

Well head at DESCREMBLE project, Larderello, Italy (source: Descramble project website)
Alexander Richter 10 Feb 2020

With research by the University of Geneva, University of Florence and the Italian National Research Council, seismic activity drilling into supercritical fluids seems being manageable.

To utilise the energy provided by geothermal the approach to deriving it is a key element in making it successful.

Deep drilling is therefore seen as crucial in pushing geothermal development, looking at ways to find “geothermal fluids with high energy content (hot water and gas released by magma)”, so an article published by Phys.org today.

The challenge though of drilling deeper is that one does not know how to control seismic activities doing so.

“Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, working in collaboration with the University of Florence and the National Research Council (CNR) in Italy, have studied the seismic activity linked to geothermal drilling in search of supercritical fluids. They discovered that the drilling did not cause uncontrolled seismic activity. This drilling under such critical conditions suggests that the technology is on the verge of achieving practical geothermal energy, paving the way for new sources of non-polluting heat and electricity.”

With drilling to deeper depth, the goal is to tap supercritical fluids that have an enormous amount of renewable energy. That is something engineers have been trying since the 1970s at Larderello in Italy. Researchers and lately with the DESCRAMBLE project.

The study described in the article, goes into how drilling went and what the results mean.

Source: Phys.org