Why can’t the Darwaza gas crater (Door to hell) in Turkmenistan be used harness energy?


Given the fact that it has natural gas as its source of energy. Why can’t it simply by any method be used to produce energy?

In: 2

You could use the heat to make steam for a turbine if you really wanted to.

Problem is it’s in the middle of the desert in Turkmenistan, a relatively poor dictatorship that lacks a well developed power infrastructure in that area and doesn’t have strong relations with wealthier nations that might be inclined to help with such efforts.

It would cost a lot of money and harness relatively little useful power.

Because it’s huge and that would be a huge effort to construct the facilities necessary to contain it all. It’s also in the middle of nowhere meaning now you have to create the powergrid infrastructure necessary to deliver that power somewhere.

You probably could, in as much as you could harness energy from any hot thing by building a steam boiler on top of it.

I can’t find any data of how much energy it is outputting, but frankly I doubt that it is enough to make it worthwhile especially since it’s in the middle of a desert, far away from any populated place that could actually use the energy. It would make much more sense to extinguish the crater and exploit the natural gas field in the traditional way, which as of 2022 is exactly what the Turkmen government plans to do.

It *can*, it’s just not worth it. The Darwaza crater isn’t actually putting out that much gas; Turkeminstan has tons of good natural gas wells, it’s not worth trying to tap a low pressure/high area vent like the crater.

A working natural gas well puts pure gas out nicely in a pipe. The Darwaza crater gas is large and diluted…to capture that gas you’d have to somehow cap the whole thing with an airtight cover. Why bother?

I have a certain level of expertise on this. I led a National Geographic expedition to go down inside it back in 2013. (Long story, but super-amazing expedition)

The amount of heat produced is not worth harnessing directly, it would not be profitable to build a generating station there. However, the government does have plans to tap into the existing reservoir of natural gas beneath the crater. For years they’ve been talking about extinguishing the fire and extracting the gas, but it has not happened yet. In the meantime, the “Doorway To Hell” has become Turkmenistan’s #1 tourist attraction.