Grand Forks, North Dakota, Sept. 19, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC), a worldwide leader in the development of solutions to energy and environmental challenges, announced it is working with the Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc., to improve assessment methods for estimating the storage capacity of carbon dioxide (CO2) in tight shale formations, such as the Bakken. The project is funded by NETL with cost share provided by Hitachi.
“Although significant progress has been made globally to investigate the suitability of subsurface geologic sinks for CO2 storage, there is a lack of detailed geologic and petrophysical data needed to develop better techniques for assessing CO2 storage resources within unconventional formations,” said Bethany Kurz, EERC Principal Hydrogeologist, Laboratory Analysis Group Lead.
EERC researchers will develop advanced analytical techniques to better understand and quantify the distribution of clay minerals, organics, pore networks, and fractures in representative shale and tight rock samples. The analytical methods will be developed using imagery collected from a field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM), which provides the high-resolution images necessary for detection and characterization of the formation.
Project participant and cosponsor Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc., will work alongside the EERC to improve the data processing and image analysis within the FESEM software.
“We are so pleased to be working with Hitachi on this project,” continued Kurz. “One of the key challenges in estimating CO2 storage capacity in organic-rich shale is that the analytical equipment and methods used to evaluate conventional reservoirs are limited when applied to shales that require analysis at such a small scale. Hitatchi’s technology and image analysis expertise will greatly improve our ability to efficiently identify and quantify key features of interest within the shales and other tight rocks.”
“Working with the EERC offers an exciting opportunity to utilize and develop Hitachi electron imaging technologies for the advanced characterization of unconventional reservoirs,” said Chad Ostrander, VP/GM of Hitachi High-Technologies Canada, Inc. “The potential technology improvements offer both environmental and economic benefits on a global scale, and Hitachi is pleased to be part of this initiative.”
The effects of CO2 exposure on shale samples will also be analyzed by scientists at NETL’s CT Scanning Lab in Morgantown, West Virginia. NETL staff will also be involved to ensure that the project supports the goals of the Carbon Storage Program, which aims to improve the ability to predict CO2 storage capacity in geologic formations to within ±30%.
About the EERC
The EERC is a world leader in developing cleaner, more efficient energy and environmental technologies to protect and clean our air, water, and soil. The EERC, a high-tech, nonprofit division of the University of North Dakota, operates like a business and pursues an entrepreneurial, market-driven approach in order to successfully demonstrate and commercialize innovative technologies. Since 1987, the EERC has had over 1340 clients in 52 countries.
About Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc.
Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc. ("HTA") is a privately-owned global affiliate company that operates within the Hitachi Group Companies. HTA sells and services semiconductor manufacturing equipment, analytical instrumentation, scientific instruments, and bio-related products as well as industrial equipment, electronic devices, and electronic and industrial materials.
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Source:Energy & Environmental Research Center(EERC)