Plasma deep drilling technology

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Drilling using high energetic electrical plasma

Plasma deep drilling technology is one of several different variants of recently explored new drilling technologies which would be able to substitute conventional, contact-based rotary systems. These new technologies, including plasma deep drilling, water jet, hydrothermal spallation or laser, are matter of active research.

High-energetic electrical plasma[edit]

High-energetic electrical plasma is a technology currently being developed in deep drilling applications to address many issues related to drilling in water environment or in the production of boreholes with a wide range of diameters.

Physical principle of electrical plasma[edit]

An electric arc is an electrical breakdown of a gas that produces an ongoing plasma discharge, resulting from a current flowing through normally nonconductive media such as air or gas. An arc discharge is characterized by a lower voltage than a glow discharge, and relies on thermionic emission of electrons from the electrodes supporting the arc. The electric arc is influenced by factors such as: the gas flow, inner and outer magnetic fields, and construction elements of the chamber which confine the arc. The development of highly effective plasma torches to be used as a source of the thermal plasma, demands a deep understanding of a wide spectrum of the processes taking place in the discharge chamber.

Plasma deep drilling technology in mining applications[edit]

Plasma deep drilling technology may be suitable not only for geothermal, oil and gas or carbon capture and storage applications but also for underground mining. This new non-contact drilling method combined with the development of current mining techniques may bring smart technology for underground mining industry. The most promising project connects advantages of plasma drilling and raise boring technologies.

Advantages of Plasma deep drilling technology[edit]

  1. Higher drilling energy efficiency
  2. Continuous drilling process without replacement of mechanical parts
  3. Constant casing diameter
  4. Effective transport of disintegrated rock

See also[edit]


  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2006) "The Future of Geothermal Energy"
  2. Celim Slovakia (2011) "Arc Discharge, Plasma Torch (different approaches)"
  3. Pierce, K.G., Livesay, B.J., Finger J.T. (1996) "Advanced Drilling System Study"