Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Grant to Investigate Methane Gas from Marcellus Shale Drilling

28.07.2011
A multi-disciplinary team of Temple researchers will investigate the origins of methane gas found in drinking water wells near Marcellus Shale drilling sites in Pennsylvania and how science is influencing the formation of public policy on drilling. The research is being funded through a one-year, $66,000 multi-disciplinary grant from the William Penn Foundation.

“We know there are environmental concerns about the Marcellus Shale and there have been some accidents related to the drilling,” said Michel Boufadel, professor of environmental engineering and director of the Center for Natural Resources Development and Protection (NRDP) in Temple’s College of Engineering. “There has been a lot of hype about this issue and sometimes it is difficult to decipher what is fact-based and what is opinion.”

A recent study by researchers at Duke University showed that drinking wells located near Marcellus Shale drilling sites in Susquehanna County had an average concentration of methane gas that was 17 times greater than wells not near drilling sites. The study also concluded that the methane had originated deep below the earth’s surface.

Boufadel, principal investigator for the Temple project, said that the process used to drill into the shale creates enormous pressure that could be forcing pockets of methane toward the drinking wells. Temple’s research will attempt to determine if the methane gas found in the wells was released from the shale during drilling or whether it was located in pockets closer to the surface.

If the methane is originating in the upper formations, the likely cause is the drilling operation or the well casing construction — issues that could be addressed at a reasonable cost, said Boufadel. However, if the gas is originating in the deep formation, the entire hydrofracking process could be considered hazardous and would need to be stopped or dramatically modified, he said.

Michele Masucci, associate professor and chair of geography and urban studies in the College of Liberal Arts, and Nicholas Davatzes, assistant professor of earth and environmental science in the College of Science and Technology will serve as co-investigators on the research project to be conducted by the NRDP Center.

Boufadel said Masucci, a social scientist, will explore how the science of the Marcellus Shale drilling is reaching policy makers, how they are processing it and using it to formulate public policy on the extraction of gas from the Marcellus Shale.

Davatzes, a structural geologist who has conducted research on energy from deep geo-thermal wells, will play a crucial role in constructing the geology of the impacted region, Boufadel said.

“Environmental research is inherently multi-disciplinary; the challenges are not only technical or technological, but socio-political as well,” said Boufadel. “This project is a template for dealing with important environmental issues, such as the Marcellus Shale, where we have researchers from three colleges — Engineering, Science and Technology and Liberal Arts — coming together to find solutions.”

In addition to the research, the grant requires Temple to organize a symposium on Marcellus Shale which will be held in the fall.

Preston M. Moretz | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.temple.edu

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht Bergamotene - alluring and lethal for Manduca sexta
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht How to color a lizard: From biology to mathematics
13.04.2017 | Université de Genève

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>