Tuesday, April 21, 2015
by Anton Antonio
April 19, 2015
More than two decades ago, Dr. Nona Calo of Butuan City (in Mindanao Island, Philippines) hypothesized that a very large deposit of deuterium can be found in the Philippine Deep. The Philippine Deep is a body of water, practically considered an abyss (meaning: a hole so deep or space so great that measurements are hard to be taken), located on the western shore of the Philippines adjacent to the Island of Mindanao… more particularly, the Province of Surigao del Sur. The Philippine Deep is the largest trench in the world… 868 miles long, 52 miles at the widest point and 2 miles at the deepest point and 10,057 kilometers below sea level.
Deuterium was first discovered by an American chemist Harold Urey in 1932. Deuterium or “heavy water” is composed of two isotopes of hydrogen and an oxygen atom with a chemical formulation of D2O or H3O. More hydrogen in its composition means that deuterium is heavier than ordinary water (H2O) or saltwater which causes it naturally sink to the deeper parts of the ocean; normally on deep ocean trenches.
Deuterium can be obtained from a depth of more than 7 kilometers where the ocean pressure is 10,000 pounds per square inch or PSI. What is amazing about deuterium is that at room temperatures or normal atmospheric pressure, deuterium atoms are electrolyzed (meaning: a process of producing ordinary tap water by dissolving sodium chloride) naturally out of water dispelling hydrogen gas. This phenomenal natural process needs no expensive electric power-consuming electrolysis to artificially separate hydrogen from oxygen in ordinary water. Presently, deuterium is used in the production of hydrogen (Li-Hy) fuel used in Canada, United States, Germany and Sweden to provide fuel for transportation (cars, trucks, jet planes and spacecrafts.
Extraction and mining technology for deuterium has not been developed to the 10,000 depth level. The cost of technology available is quite prohibitive at present. The more advanced countries, however, are in a “race” to provide a more affordable technology to mine deuterium. If and when this technology is made available, the Philippines will be in a position to utilize such technology for economic advancement.
Fossil fuel is said to be peaking (if it has not peaked yet) and alternative sources of fuel are critical. Deuterium is a not-too-distant future hope for the Filipino people which could make the Philippines one of the richest countries in the world. However, the question that lingers in the minds of Filipinos are: Are we ready for sudden wealth? Are we matured enough (socio-economically and politically) for prosperity? Are we really ready for deuterium?
Just my little thoughts…
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