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Imagine there is a race of highly intelligent merfolk - let's call them Atlanteans. Both the mussels and the Atlanteans lived together amicably around brine pools.

The brine pools, found about 200 meters deep across the ocean floors, contain high concentrations of methane and other nasty chemicals which can kill anything that fall in. Only extremophiles, with the exceptions of mussels and Altanteans, can spend quality time inside the pool.

I wonder: how can the Altanteans, whose tech level is on par with us in the modern times, draw useful and reliable energy from this brine pool?

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    $\begingroup$ Do you mean a "dumpling" site ie somewhere to get a specific type of food; or a "dumping" site ie somewhere to dispose of waste? Why is there a high proportion of methane in these pools and what stops them mixing with the surrounding ocean? Are the pools found where the ocean floor depth is 200 metres, or are they 200 metres deeper than the ocean floor somewhere? How wide are the pools? Do the Atlanteans have only technology that can be developed underwater or can they operate on the surface also? Without some clarification, any answer will be based on many assumptions. $\endgroup$ Jul 29 '20 at 10:01
  • $\begingroup$ I like the idea of a dumpling site. Presumably they are cooked in brine? youtube.com/watch?v=sVTYtxvBq9M&feature=emb_logo $\endgroup$ Jul 29 '20 at 10:02
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    $\begingroup$ Oh no should be dumping site not dumpling as in rice ball ;D $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Jul 29 '20 at 10:09
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If their technologic level is on par with ours they can build a platform, like an oil rig, to extract that methane.

They can then burn it on the platform for power. They can use seawater for the turbines too.

As the brine pools are drained of methane and other chemicals, they become just regular stagnant water. They can pump oxygen into those so they become places that can be inhabited by more forms of life.

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Yes. Seawater and sewage is a good source of chemical energy.

  • Mohd Yasin, N. H., Ikegami, A., Wood, T. K., Yu, C.-P., Haruyama, T., Takriff, M. S., & Maeda, T. (2017). Oceans as bioenergy pools for methane production using activated methanogens in waste sewage sludge. Applied Energy, 202, 399–407. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.05.
  • Pei, H., & Jiang, L. (2018). Mixing Seawater with a Little Wastewater to Produce Bioenergy from Limnetic Algae. Trends in Biotechnology, 36(5), 480–483. doi:10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.12.0

They'll need to convert methane to energy without burning it (because they're underwater, boy), so some kind of fuel cell.

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