The scientific feasibility of generating fuels (H2, CO, and CH4) from buried magma sources is being examined as part of the Magma Energy Research Project at Sandia Laboratories, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy/Division of Basic Energy Science. Thermodynamic calculations and experimental studies indicate that fluids containing up to 3 mole % H2 result from the interaction of water with hot basaltic glass or magma. The cumulative H2 potentially recoverable per cubic kilometer of basalt is on the order of 2 trillion g—approximately 20% of the total 1975 United States hydrogen consumption.
Addition of organic matter to the injected fluid considerably enhances fuel production and allows fuel generation directly using magma or hot rock as a source of thermal energy only. For example, mixtures containing 10 wt. % cellulose (C6H10O5) form 5 to 15 mole % H2, CO, and CH4 depending on temperature.
The properties of hot basaltic rocks and magmas in midocean ridge environments offer the most favorable conditions for magmatic fuel production.
Figures & Tables
The energy and mineral resources of the vast Pacific basin and its neighboring land areas play a vital role in meeting the ever-growing needs of society worldwide. Building on the foundation of a highly successful conference held in 1978, this volume contains 51 of the 135 papers presented there. Subjects included are general and specific in nature--oil, gas, and coal resources; geothermal fields, uranium; tin; evaporites, trace elements; water resources; magma energy and fuels from magma. Geological and geophysical techniques, and also the new tool of remote sending for petroleum and minerals exploration are represented. Tectonics, structure fundamentals, subsurface hazards, international treaties and the law of the deep sea are discussed. Seventeen countries and regions are represented in these papers: Thailand, Nicaragua, the United States, Japan, Peru, Antarctica, El Salvador, Australia, Mexico, Taiwan, New Zealand, China, Chile, Indonesia, Canada, and the Pacific Ocean.