An MIT spinoff has secured sizeable funding for a truly ground-breaking project that involves drilling 12 miles beneath the surface of the Earth and harnessing the enormous energy that exists there.
According to a news statement, the business, dubbed Quaise, received $40 million in series A investment last month. It claims that the funds will be used to use fusion technology to dig one of the deepest holes ever. If successful, it might provide access to practically infinite, clean geothermal energy for mankind.
That’s accurate. drilling for fusion.
In the announcement, Mark Cupta, managing director at Prelude Ventures and one of the investors in the business, said that “we need a vast quantity of carbon-free energy in the next decades.”
“One of the most resource-effective and almost indefinitely scalable options for supplying energy to our world is provided by Quaise Energy, he said. It is the ideal complement to our present renewable energy solutions and will soon enable us to achieve baseload sustainable electricity.
Apart from the fact that it sounds sci-fi-cool, harnessing fusion technology to dig these very deep holes would also have a number of noteworthy advantages. For starters, conventional drill bits have a maximum depth they can penetrate before being stopped by heated temperatures, gases, and liquids.
Quaise would instead use a device known as a gyrotron, which is generally employed to produce millimeter electromagnetic waves in fusion reactors in order to superheat plasma. However, the company would direct its energy beams towards the earth in instead of plasma, drilling through it.
The technology has the potential to enable drilling at previously unimaginable depths. Theoretically, this might also make it possible for anyone to obtain geothermal energy from the Earth from anywhere in the globe.
Undoubtedly, this technology still has a ways to go. The first full-scale demonstration machines from Quaise are expected to be released in 2024, followed by the company’s first commercial operation in 2026. Furthermore, there’s a significant risk that snags like financial shortages or annoying supply chain problems might stop something from ever ever releasing.
However, the concept of a fusion drill using the Earth’s abundant, clean energy is very cool.