Sunday, January 15, 2012

Geothermal Scientists Want to Frack Oregon Volcano for Energy

Posted By on Sun, Jan 15, 2012 at 8:55 AM

A team of geothermal scientists say they want to pump 24 million gallons of water into a dormant Oregon volcano later this year, in an effort to create cheap, clean electricity.

The Associated Press reports that if the water flows back to the surface of the Newberry Volcano fast enough and hot enough, the geothermal energy could be groundbreaking—literally and figuratively.

According to the report, the U.S. government and Google are in line to invest in the $43 million project. The volcano is located about 20 miles south of Bend, Ore.

In a process called hydroshearing, wells would be drilled deep into the rock, allowing the water to be pumped in and to create tiny fractures in the rock. As cold water is pumped down the production wells, steam is drawn out. The process is not unlike hydraulic fracturing, the controversial process of pumping fluids into shale to enhance natural gas flows. However this type of fracking would not use chemical-laden fluids.

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