Saturday, August 25, 2007

Haifa Univ: Extracting Energy From Beneath the Ocean Floor

The University of Haifa, in cooperation with Stanford University, is embarking on a unique, wide-ranging research effort to investigate energy production using gas lying just below the sea floor as an alternative to oil. The initiative will be conducted in the new School for Marine Studies at the University of Haifa, the establishment of which was made possible through an $8 million donation by American businessman Mr. Leon Charney.

"One of the primary goals of the school is to evaluate the possibility of turning gas lying at the sea floor into a valuable economic resource in order to eliminate dependence on oil and change the geo-political reality in the world," said Mr. Charney. The University of Haifa hopes that the school will become a world leader in research in this field.

The school will purchase new equipment which will enable marine research projects that will examine possibilities for producing alternative energy from the sea.
"At a time when the entire world is concerned about the future of the planet, the University of Haifa is spearheading new research on the subjects of water and energy, where all of our futures lie. Our research will focus on producing alternative energy from water instead of oil – a revolution in the field. We are pleased that Stanford University is cooperating with us in this important research," added Charney, who stressed that this source of energy exists all over the planet and its production will eliminate the dependence on oil that is concentrated in a number of Middle Eastern countries.

Heading the Stanford research team will be Prof. Amos Nur, a leading researcher in the field of energy studies. Stanford University announced that they will provide access to all of their laboratories to the research team, which includes University of Haifa faculty, in order to advance the joint research project.

The School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa will also focus on interdisciplinary research on a variety of subjects in the field of marine studies – from geology, geophysics and biology to marine strategy and archaeology. The School of Marine Sciences will include a course for naval officers studying for a B.A. at the University of Haifa.

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