Studies by the team of common rock types such as granite and olivine have revealed extraordinarily high levels of trapped hydrogen. Prof Freund told The Telegraph that his team had "tantalising evidence" that as much as 1,000 litres of hydrogen may be trapped in each cubic metre of rock.Don't you wish these profs could use their talents for something rational? Or the media would report on more realistic ideas? Bedrock hydrogen is a silly concept. A cubic metre *is* 1000 litres, and it's already filled with granite. If there are hydrogen pockets they must be under immense pressure, or the hydrogen is chemically bonded. So how to extract it? I don't expect you could just drill a 20km straw and start sucking....never mind that (according to the article) a 12km hole took 13 years to drill."The key factor is whether the energy in the mined hydrogen would ever outweigh the energy required to extract it," he said.Yep, big problem: 1000 litres of hydrogen has an energy density of 2.94kWh...about the same as a 3rd of a litre of diesel.The low yield of energy from burning hydrogen compared to petrol, however, means that vast quantities of rock would have to be mined. According to Dr Geoff Dutton, a research manager of the UK Energy Research Unit in Chilton, Oxfordshire, the new findings suggest that the daily energy needs of the UK road vehicle fleet could be supplied by the hydrogen trapped in a cubic mile or so of rock. "In the top 20km of the Earth's crust, the conditions are right to produce a nearly inexhaustible supply of hydrogen," said Prof Freund.And we all know it's not limitless: even if we found a reasonable way to do this, in the year 2502 we'll be talking about a "crust shortage". The only source of energy with reasonable relative permanence is the sun. Let's make it be enough, and stop imagining ways to eat our bedroom walls.Jon
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