Friday, April 23, 2010

Want to buy some deuterium?

I remember Senator Louis Crisostimo telling me some time during 2008 that he opposed the creation of the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument because the trench contained a special kind of water that could be used in fuel cells. I thought he was out of his mind.

I came across a blog today that linked to the story that put the idea into his head (I have reposted the entire article because the Marianas Variety does not have it archived):
by Agnes E. Donato
October 31, 2003

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, ) – The world’s largest deposit of deuterium, which can replace most forms of fuel in powering engines, can be found in the Marianas and Philippine trenches, according to a research by a local group.

Former Rep. Manasses S. Borja and Melqui Pacis, of Western International Corp., said the Marianas and the Philippines have a deuterium deposit 868 miles long — 52 miles at its widest point, and 7 miles at its deepest point in the Marianas.

This deposit, they added, is "replenished by nature 24 hours a day" through the north equatorial current tidal flow which carries deuterium all the way from Central America.

Deuterium, a form of concentrated hydrogen, is used in the production of natural gas now utilized in Canada, America, Germany and Sweden, to provide fuel for cars, trucks and jet planes, said Pacis and Borja, who is running for a Precinct 2 seat in the House of Representatives.

"Deuterium can replace gasoline, (liquefied petroleum gas), (liquefied natural gas), Avgas, etc. in powering all types of internal combustion engines. It does not emit pollutants or any harmful carbon monoxide and does not cause any environmental problems because it is in the water family," they said.

They added, "Deuterium as hydrogen fuel can also be used for cooking, lighting, and heating, and as heavy water fuel for reactors in electric power generation. (Aside from the CNMI), only the Philippines can supply all the requirements in deuterium as hydrogen fuel and as hydrogen for food, chemical and metal industries worldwide for the next two centuries."

Borja and Pacis are urging the governments of the CNMI and the Philippines to promote the deuterium deposit to investors.

Borja and Pacis reported that prospective investors from the U.S., Japan and Saudi Arabia had expressed interest in the project.

"The rule of thumb investment estimates is about $200 million for every 1 million barrels daily production capacity — a very much lower investment-capacity ratio than petroleum production," they said. "At 12 million barrels per day capacity, the estimated total investment is $2.4 billion."

Marianas Variety:

Copyright © 2003 Marianas Variety. All Rights Reserved
I'm thinking that their thinking went something like this:

"This deuterium stuff can be used to create something called heavy water."

"Yeah, I bet because it's heavy it sinks."

"Hey, isn't the Mariana Trench really deep?"

Who knows? Maybe in 100 years I'll have to eat my words. Maybe the Mariana Trench has the largest deposit of deuterium. And maybe Manasses S. Borja and Melqui Pacis are the the Michael Faraday and Benjamin Franklins of our our time. Maybe. But not likely.

I call shenanigans on this one.

1 comment:

Saipan Writer said...

Is there any factual basis for their claim that such stuff is found in the Trench? Has NOAA or anyone else recorded its existence there?

Manasses Borja and Melqui Pacis--do they have any credentials that even relate in any way to science? Or are we really looking at the kind of "logic" you imagine?

Great dialogue, btw. Seems just like the kind of thinking we've got here.