Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Could bubbles help increase Earth’s oil reserves?

08.11.2005


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.


MRI is known to be sensitive to water density so the team will be driving water containing micro-bubbles (known as liposomes) through small pieces of rock in order to make a three-dimensional image of its pressure. As the team builds up an idea of how the water pressure changes in this journey it is hoped they will be able to develop new ways to increase the oil quantity currently being extracted. The gas-filled liposomes (micro-bubble fluid) will be designed and made by Dr Yvonne Perrie at Aston University.

The research could also benefit the automotive industry as the team will look into whether they can improve the ability to drive resin into the porous woven fibreglass which makes up the majority of our vehicles. The fibreglass is shaped to whatever form is needed and is then reinforced with the resin making it stronger and less likely to fail.

Dr Bencsik said: “These research areas will make further use of MRI technology. Most people think of healthcare when they hear the words MRI scanner but we are certain that it can be used to achieve many other valuable uses, including this new research into oil extraction.’

Sally Hoban | alfa
Further information:
http://www.aston.ac.uk

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Scientists discover Earth's youngest banded iron formation in western China
12.07.2018 | University of Alberta

nachricht Drones survey African wildlife
11.07.2018 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>