New research which could help salvage huge amounts of the world’s oil that currently goes to waste is being carried out as a collaborative venture between Aston University in Birmingham, UK and Nottingham Trent University. Experts are looking at using Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) scanners and special micro-bubbles to find a way of increasing the oil quantity being extracted from porous rock, which is often less than 30%.
All of the world’s oil is found in porous rock beneath the ground and is usually obtained by drilling two holes – water is pumped into the first, which forces oil through the second. However, only a small amount of the oil is ever taken before the water starts to re-emerge. Once this happens the borehole is closed and the remaining 70% of oil can never be recovered.
The research team, led by Senior Lecturer in Physics, Dr Martin Bencsik (Nottingham Trent) in collaboration with Dr Yvonne Perrie (Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutics; Aston University) has received funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to develop a novel application for an MRI scanner, normally used to create an image of the inside of the human body.
Sally Hoban | alfa
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