Sunday, October 16, 2016

Microwaves Used for Oil Extraction, End of Fracking

The idea of using microwaves to get to the fossil fuels hiding in shale rock is not new. In fact, it has been studied since at least 1983. The idea, as expressed by modern-day proponents such as Colorado-based Qmast, is to point a microwave beam with the power of, say, 500 regular microwave ovens to the shale formation and liquefy the crude in this particular sector. The crude then flows freely to a wellbore in the vicinity.

Article here:

Further reading and original source material here:


Phil said...

As long as you had a really long stick you would never have to worry about your coffee getting cold either.

I would have to imagine it takes a good deal of energy to produce that much wattage in the first place. A typical home microwave is somewhere in the range of 1100 watts, times that by 500.
Big fookin' mobile generators with all the things that go with them.
Transport, fuel, maintenance, breakdowns, miles of bologna cable, etc.
At least the massive ground water pollution would be somewhat mitigated.

SiGraybeard said...

It's an interesting idea. There would be a temporary gold rush of jobs for guys with my design background, but I swear I'm not blinded by that.

One thing I don't see is if they tested different frequencies for efficiency at heating the oil. They used 2450 MHz, the common microwave oven frequency, which sure has advantages in there being tons of cheap hardware available, but I wonder if another frequency would be more effective?

I can think of other things that I'd like to know if they ever tested to see if they can improve efficiency.

admin said...

500,000 watt is is half a megawatt. Not really that much.

For a few months I was in charge of supplying a 1.5 megawatt generator in Iraq with fuel. It was used to power the reverse osmosis water bottling plant, which included the machinery that made the bottles on site.

It consumed about 2500-3000 gallons of fuel per day with occasional surges to 4000 gallons per day.

The amount of oil extracted vs energy input would be well worth it using this method.