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09/12/09
Careers in Chemistry. Future Trends 19. Geothermal-Radioactive Decay Energy Generation
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, Leadership, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 7:51 am

One of the amazing sources of energy generation
is the incredible geothermal source.  As we explore
the continental crust, temperatures
increase about
30 degrees C per km. 
A wonderful description
of the source
of heat controversy is presented
in
Hancock and Skinner who suggest
two different
heat gradients in the
core and the mantle.  They
present
the possible heat source as

radiogenic due to the decay of U-235,
U-238,
Th-232 and K-40.

Recent reports suggest the impact of
geothermal
energy fracturing subsurface
formations as
effecting earthquakes
in CA, Germany and
Switzerland.  But
geothermal generation of energy is
a deeper, no pun intended,
problem.
Issues including  material balance (water)

and radioactive waste need to be
resolved.


Broad interdisciplinary chemistry will
be
essential in discovering how to best
tap this
resource. (geochemistry,
radiochemistry,
electrochemistry,
material science)

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