Reducing the electric energy losses in the rock fracture due to plasma-mechanical method

Reducing the electric energy losses in the rock fracture due to plasma-mechanical method

Anton Kleshchov, Oleh Terentiev

NGO “Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production Centre”, Ukraine

There is a common shortcoming of existing plants used for electrothermal fracturing: the energy of molecular bonds is not used, though it can be used in order to decrease energy intensity of rock fracture. In general, capacitive plasma is used apart from mechanical fracture. Using inductive plasma allows to adjust subresonant modes. Consequently, the energy of molecular bonds of rock crystalline structures is released. It ensures local decrease of Young’s modulus and reduces rock hardness. The technology that involves using mechanical and plasma fracture simultaneously requires up to 12% less energy, rock fracture efficiency increases to 20%.

It is experimentally verified that consequently to plasma impact Young’s modulus decreases from 207 GPa to 107 GPa in hematite and from 105 GPa to 75 GPa in quartz. Capacity of the plasma fracture unit is no more than 3.5 kW. The idea of plasma-mechanical fracture is to release internal potential of rock and direct it to local fracture.