High energy millimeter wave (MMW) technology was originally developed for fusion energy research. MMWs are in the 20 to 300 GHz electromagnetic frequency range where electromagnetic beams can be controlled and focused through waveguides (pipes/ boreholes) over long distances allowing delivery of focused energy to melt or vaporize targets. MMW is more efficient in generation, can deliver more power and can be used in a dirty (particle) environment than a laser system. This efficient MMW heat generation-transport-delivery system has numerous potential applications in mining, tunneling, trenching, excavation, and drilling wellbores for oil/ gas, deep Enhanced/Engineered Geothermal System (EGS) wellbores and deep nuclear waste storage in hard crystalline basement rock formations.
Currently, Impact Technologies LLC is focusing on two important applications to date: deep EGS Geothermal (under a Department of Energy [DOE] DE-EE0005504 project-completed) and deep Nuclear Waste Storage (DE-FOA-0001046 project). For these projects, Impact Technologies LLC is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Deep hot EGS geothermal allows electrical generation from the heat in the earth. No EGS projects have been completed due to the high cost and economic risks associated with drilling and completing such wellbores and the low heat recovery. MMW may be able to lower the wellbore cost by more efficient drilling and casing methods and increase EGS overall efficiency of the heat mining by using microholes (bores less than 4” diameter).
Disposal of high level nuclear waste in deep basement boreholes has been acknowledged by most experts as the best and safest method to permanently dispose of large volumes of military and civilian generated nuclear waste. The cost of these wells (drilling and completion) is estimated at $20-$40 million each and hundreds of the deep borehole wells would be needed for the volumes of waste amassed to date. No such well has been drilled and completed due to safety considerations. MMW may be able to ensure that such waste will be permanently encased in a deep glass rock sealed tomb.
For more information, please contact Impact Technologies LLC