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Natural hydrogen outlets on the Russian Platform

Last Updated: Friday, 06 March 2015 07:54

Pluses and minuses 
V. Larin, N. Larin

Several years ago compact hydrogen gas analyzers were invented in Russia. These devices enable to measure the concentration of hydrogen in the gas mixture during fieldwork. As a result of our work in 2005-2009 we discovered an abnormally high hydrogen concentration in the subsoil air in the central European Russia. 
"Microseismic sounding" (Russian "know how" by A.V. Gorbatikov) revealed that "hydrogen anomalies" had supplying channels going deep into the crust and mantle horizons of the Earth. Thus, it was discovered that the subsurface hydrogen anomalies are supplied by deep vertical tubiform zones. And it is likely that hydrogen can be extracted from these zones with the help of 1-1.5 km-deep boreholes. We know where and how to find these “supplying channels”. We are ready to introduce the interested parties to our technology, data acquisition methods and research results. We can also demonstrate hydrogen seepages in the field, as well as its negative environmental impacts, such as various craters and large depressions, soil degradation caused by humus destruction, elimination of forests at locations of hydrogen seepages etc.

Nowadays the whole world dreams to switch to hydrogen energy usage and to fuel transport with hydrogen. However, there is a problem connected with hydrogen production. It is suggested to be produced mainly by electrolysis of water. However, using hydrogen produced from water as an energy source, you get significantly less energy than was expended in the process of electrolysis. This is what energy experts consider to be an insurmountable problem. At the same time, "the supplying channels" we discovered solve this problem and enable the development of hydrogen energy.
We conducted “hydrogen-related” researches on our own using our personal means. We did what we could. We discovered a previously unknown phenomenon of modern hydrogen degassing from the bowels of the planet and now we can state that this is a phenomenon of grandiose scale. But further development of this promising business requires financial support.

New perspectives
Hydrogen Energy
Deep streams of natural hydrogen form typical structures on the surface, which are easy to see on the satellite images of Earth. This enabled to determine the geographic location of the outlets of hydrogen streams. Satellite imagery interpretation of and our expeditions have shown that the boreholes for hydrogen production can by located in almost any part of European Russia. It can be used locally for electricity production and distributed to the surrounding area. Such a decentralized energy supply system is invulnerable to any natural disasters and terrorist acts. In addition, the implementation of this innovation doesn’t require any fundamentally new inventions. Therefore, quick implementation is possible and thus - a rapid compensated of the investments. 
Replenishment of oil and gas fields
In the chemical composition of oil and gas one carbon atom corresponds to 2.5-4 hydrogen atoms, whereas in the organic remains of sedimentary rocks there is no more than a hydrogen atom per carbon atom. In this regard, it is obvious that the problem of hydrocarbons’ origin is primarily the problem of hydrogen source.
In the light of hydrogen degassing it becomes clear why oil doesn’t run out in some fields, where the extracted volume is several times greater than the estimated. Or why 10-15 years after becoming completely exhausted some fields are renewed. And why there are huge oil fields in the ancient Precambrian granite-gneiss of original magma genesis, which never contained mother bed of oil, but contained carbon-containing minerals.
Our discovery of hydrogen degassing will probably force to revise the estimations of the planet’s oil and gas deposits.

Negative consequences 
Karst on the outlets of hydrogen streams
According to the geo-ecologists 15% of the Moscow city territory is located in zone of karst depression risk; collapses in these areas may occur at any time. Experts are aware of it, they talk and warn, but they have not been particularly active in forcing the authorities to take appropriate measures. Apparently, a calming factor works here - the prevailing opinion that karst cavities “take their time” in forming, but it is only true when it is caused by the soakage of rain and snow waters into the depths; these waters are practically distilled and cold enough. Therefore they have a very weak ability to dissolve carbonates. 
However, in light of the existence of hydrogen streams the formation of karst cavities may have quite different dynamics. The zones of hydrogen leakage must be supplied with water. There is quite a lot of free oxygen or weakly chemically bound in oxides and hydroxides of iron buried in the pores, cracks and micropores of the upper Earth crust layers. Hydrogen («hydrogen» - literally “giving birth to water”) will surely form warm juvenile water (due to the geothermal gradient) acidified with various acids. Such water erodes carbonates very quickly, and thus, karst phenomena can be fast (the word “fast” refers not to the geological time, but to our fast human time). 
The decisions to build skyscrapers in Moscow were made without considering the hydrogen factor. And if there are hydrogen streams within the city (we are sure that there are some) capable of producing "warm" and chemically aggressive water, this water will erode the intense rocks at first, i.e. it will erode the rocks under the foundations of the skyscrapers. Do not mention the high buildings of the Stalin era as a disproof. Yes, they have been standing for more than half a century. But, firstly, they were built in a different way, and secondly, the process hydrogen degassing is likely to intensify in time. Recently mass media started to inform about the soil downfalls within Moscow more and more frequently. 
The destruction of underground metal constructions
Today, in many places, the measured hydrogen concentration reaches 1.5-1.7%. However, when we take a sample of the subsoil gas, we cannot discount the mixing in of the atmospheric air, which is practically devoid of hydrogen. When we take this dilution into account, the real hydrogen concentration in the subsoil air could be reaching 2.5-3%. Technologists are very familiar with a phenomenon of catastrophically brittle metals, which occurs when metals are exposed to such a gaseous mixture for prolonged periods of time (months). As a result, underground metal structures and communications can become so fragile that they will crumble from their own weight of their engineering facilities, or at the movement of the soil, even a very minor one. So far, during the design and construction of facilities, the destruction of which could have catastrophic consequences, the possibility of hydrogen embrittlement of metals is not taken into account. However, hydrogen degasification has been detected, it tends to increase (in terms of areas affected), and this factor must be taken into account.
Explosions in mines
However, we would like to mention one of the directions of our future studies right now. That concerns the methane explosions in the coal mines, which started to happen more and more often lately. In the methane (CH4) - one carbon atom has four hydrogen atoms, i.e. it mainly consists of hydrogen by the number of atoms of gas. When the hydrogen stream reaches the coal deposits, of course, methane is formed: 2H2 + C = CH4. Thus, hydrogen streams may form centers of methane accumulation in the coal basins, where methane may be stored at a high pressure. The situation is worsened by the fact that when the preliminary drilling was held in order to detect the risk of an explosion, these could not have existed yet, especially if the drilling was held 10-15 years ago. In short, if the centers of methane accumulation in coal basins are formed by streams of hydrogen, it will much easier to build up an effective system of measures minimizing the possible risks.
Thermobaric explosions on the surface 
In Ryazan region in April 1991 an explosion occurred, which damaged the city Sasovo. According to experts the power of the explosion was equivalent to 25-30 tons of TNT. However, the size of the crater (the diameter of crater was 28 meters, the depth - 4 meters) was incomparably small considering the energy of the explosion. Such crater can be formed by an explosion of two tons of TNT. It seems to be very odd that in the immediate vicinity of the crater the grass, shrubs and trees remained intact (not damaged by neither the shock nor the high temperature). The nature of the damages (the blown-off doors and windows were often found outside the buildings) indicates that it was a thermobaric explosion. Such explosions may occur only in the atmosphere.
We discovered quite intensive releases of hydrogen in that area, and in this regard we explain the phenomenon as follows. The crater was formed as a result of a breakthrough of endogenous hydrogen stream on the surface. In the atmosphere it mixed with oxygen and formed a cloud of detonating gas, and so the “thermobaric explosion” occurred. In this regard, the crater should be considered to be of a “blast” type.
In June 1992 5.5 km north-west of Sasovo another blast crater (diameter - 12 m, depth - 4 m) was found in the corn field, though nobody heard the explosion (when the seeds of corn were planted there was no crater yet). The character of the crater was determined due to the ring shaped ejection encircling it. In addition, according to eyewitnesses who saw the crater recently after its occurrence, there were huge clods of earth around. During our visit in autumn 2005 it was completely dry and the hydrogen concentration inside it was several times higher than in the surrounding territory.
At first we thought Sasovo explosion to be a rare phenomenon (exceptional and unlikely). But now, when we know the scale of hydrogen leakage phenomenon, we estimate the probability of such phenomena otherwise. Now we have to admit that such thermobaric explosions may become quite ordinary soon. Moreover, these future explosions may be tens or hundreds of times more powerful which is comparable with tactical nuclear weapons. Now imagine what happens if it occurs in a densely populated area or in a megalopolis? 
Hydrogen bleaching of soils
Satellite imagery clearly show the “ring structures of subsiding”: they are represented by bright rings and circles in the area of hydrogen streams release. They are especially easy to see in the black earth zone. We dug holes and conducted manual drilling to determine the cause of this clarification. And it turned out that the leaking hydrogen destroys the black humic organic matter (the most valuable component of the black earth). There is about 8-10% of humus in black soil – these are long organic molecules of complex composition. They are not saturated with hydrogen, so these carbon atoms are linked together in long chains, rings or other structures. When there is an excess of hydrogen in the subsoil air its atoms get between the carbon atoms and therefore the long molecules break into short segments, which are mostly volatile hydrocarbon gases and so they disperse quickly. The black soil layer lightens and becomes gray or beige. Of course, its productivity sharply reduces. There are abandoned fields, where the agronomists gave up the idea to grow anything at all. 
In addition, hydrogen damages the living flora directly. Trees and undergrowth die near the outlets of hydrogen streams, and sometimes even grass stops growing. While seeing this one wonders about the impact of hydrogen on the living fauna. We consist of long organic molecules too.

The data we have collected leaves no doubt that the release of hydrogen from the bowels of the planet is going on right now. We also see clearly the expansion of this phenomenon on the territories where recently there were no signs of damage caused by hydrogen, i.e. the process of hydrogen degassing from the bowels of the planet is unstable, and it obviously intensifies. Satellite imagery of the Earth shows the global prevalence of this phenomenon. Some facts indicate its cyclical nature, and apparently, we live at the beginning of a new cycle. Mankind is unable to stop it, but we may try using it (at least in some ways).

What is to be done?
• We must learn to detect the deeply hidden supplying channels (we have some positive experience). 
• It is necessary to drill wells to intercept hydrogen streams at a depth of 1-1,5-2-km, in order not to let them disperse in higher horizons. This can prevent the damage we mentioned. According to our estimations the streams of hydrogen will exist for quite a long (geological) time. Therefore, the hydrogen production can be maintained for at least thousands of years. 
• The cheap borehole hydrogen (unlike the hydrogen produced by the electrolysis of water) is a very efficient energy source. In addition, after burning of hydrogen only pure water is obtained, which is very important for many areas.
• Microbiologists are well aware of hydrogen bacteria. They attracted attention due to the possibility of obtaining forage proteins, which are full of amino acid and are well-digested by animals. In comparison with other microorganisms hydrogen bacteria have extremely high growth rate and can produce large yields of biomass. Until now it wasn’t implemented because of the lack of cheap hydrogen. But perhaps the situation will change and the development of such technology should be conducted.
• This list is far from being complete – there are so many things to be done...

V. Larin: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." data-mce-href="mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
N. Larin: larin.hydrogen @ gmail.com

P.S. When first acquainted with our data, many people ask – “Why such a large scale phenomenon is only now being discovered? Was it not happening 25-30 years ago?”Of course it was happening; 30 years ago degasification was happening, albeit maybe not as intensively as it is now. The ring depression structures were in existence too, but there were fewer of them; as there was less “hydrogen bleaching” of black earth soils. But, the reason is not lack of evidence, it is something different. Within the prevailing perceptions (of the composition and structure of the planet) there should not be hydrogen degasification on the ancient platform. And who is going to look for something which (it terms of the widely accepted “common sense”) – cannot be in principle in the first place? That’s why nobody looked. But we (the authors of this text) have been working for a long time within a new global geological concept, according to which there must be degasification of deep source hydrogen. As soon as hydrogen analyzers suitable for field work became available, we purchased them and went to look for hydrogen streams on the Russian plains. We found them right away, but we must admit – at first we did not even suspect, what would be the real extent of this phenomenon.