Far below the earth's surface, hydrogen gas is continuously produced through serpentinization. At least some fraction of this hydrogen remains trapped in the deep continental crust; indeed, Soviet geologists found that mud from the Kola Superdeep Borehole was "boiling" with hydrogen.

  • Are the Kola Borehole results unusual? (That is, would an equally deep borehole somewhere else find just as much hydrogen?)
  • If not, why is no one trying to mine this hydrogen and use it for, say, producing energy or powering cars? Is it "just" a matter of economic infeasibility – for example, due to the extremely deep borehole required?
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    $\begingroup$ If such hydrogen does exist there are cheaper & easier sources of energy nearer the surface of the earth. Before such holes can be drilled, potentially rich hydrogen regions would need to be delineated & evaluated for economic potential. Deep holes like the Kola Super Deep Hole are expensive to drill & they take a long time to drill. Putting a solar plant on an ocean to obtain hydrogen by electrolysis would be cheaper & easier. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Apr 27 '19 at 9:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Fred You are probably right, but it doesn't seem completely obvious to me that producing hydrogen by electrolysis should be cheaper. Of course drilling a very deep hole is expensive, but once the hole is in place, the marginal cost of extracting more hydrogen is quite low. On the other hand, electrolysis consumes a lot of energy for each additional hydrogen molecule produced. Maybe I'm just massively underestimating the cost of drilling deep boreholes, though. $\endgroup$
    – Thorondor
    Apr 27 '19 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ hydrogen is only one gass of many gasses one can get from crushing rock,so the gass you get will still have to be cleaned and separated for it to be usefull. $\endgroup$ Apr 28 '19 at 12:25
  • $\begingroup$ @trondhansen Hydrogen is the lightest element on the periodic table and has an extremely low boiling point, so it should be pretty easy to separate it from other gases. For example, I would think that membrane filtration could be made reasonably efficient. $\endgroup$
    – Thorondor
    Apr 28 '19 at 18:48

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