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June 29th, 2009
Geothermal energy is getting a boost from nanotechnology. A group at Stanford has made particles tiny enough to pass through rocks. This could make it easier to build man-made geysers for electric power.
Professor Roland Horne of Stanford and doctoral candidate Mohammad Alaskar put some typical geothermal rock into a chamber. They injected a fluid of silicon-based nanospheres into one side. Using pressure they drove the particles through solid rock, out the other side, and counted and measured them, proving for the first time that this could be done.
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