Science

Titanium Cylinders Pressure with 500 bars and drop of crude oil

With the results of this experiment energy companies want to improve search for crude oil at great depths on Earth. Currently fly titanium cylinder from ESA float with crude oil and Chinese satellite float around the Earth for the same reason.

The supposedly most payloads, which were shot in space, includes six titanium cylinder where crude oil is located. In the night to Wednesday brought them Gobi on board the Chinese satellite SJ-10 space Jiuquan from the Chinese space station in the desert.

There is one milliliter crude oil, so a small drop in each of the titanium cylinder. And the experiments are taking place in zero gravity simulated in just two weeks, for which the nature on the Earth needs thousands of years. And therefore the titanium cylinders now fly around the Earth.

Prevail in the titanium cylinders pressure 500 bar

The pressure inside the cylinder is located at 500 bar. Such inhospitable conditions on Earth, better in their depths. You have the initiators of the experiment in its sights. 8000 meters below the surface they suspect oilfields. We can not say where exactly they are located. The attempts at all to facilitate the search.

Titanium Cylinders Pressure oil
These titanium cylinders contain crude oil and currently orbiting the Earth. This experiment aims to improve the search for crude oil at great depths on Earth. Photo: ESA

And what happens when you try at all? One end of the cylinder is warm and other is cold. In these circumstances, the molecules of the oil towards the heat move. Ludwig-Soret effect is this physical phenomenon. There is also deep in the bowels of the Earth.

In two weeks process simulate thousands of years Earth

Oil molecules are in a sense on wandering, if extremely slowly. The lighter molecules move forward yet the fastest, so there a separation into a light and a heavy Group on the basis of Thermophoresis. This process is extremely accelerated under conditions of weightlessness. After two weeks the molecules have moved as far as those in the depths of the earth over thousands of years.

Oliver Münster, Chief physicist of the ESA, explains the process of Thermoplastics: “imagine a pack of cereal. By the time the smaller flakes sink deeper.” The same is happening in the depths of the Earth, except that there are temperature differences of the trigger.

Titanium Cylinders Pressure
Chinese news agency Xinhua on Twitter announced the launch of Chinese satellite SJ-10 on the Chinese Jiuquan spaceport in the desert Gobi. Photo: Twitter

Total and PetroChina are interested in results

If SJ-10 in two weeks will return to the Earth, the researchers analyze the routes of oil molecules. This will give information about them, where is oil at great depths on earth can be found, so they hope. The results serve to calculate three-dimensional computer models of the subsoil. “The experiment is designed so that it improves our understanding of oil deposits in deep up to eight kilometers,” said Antonio Verga, head of the ESA project.

Chinese scientists and researchers of the European Space Agency (ESA) have jointly prepared the mission. In addition, the French and Chinese oil company PetroChina are involved.