Hydrocarbon recovery research within the energy initiative is carried out across a number of departments and research groups at the University of Cambridge.
The research area includes:
- New techniques for upstream exploration of fossil fuel resources and enhanced oil recovery techniques.
- Modelling of oil recovery processes
- Development of new approaches to remote monitoring of oil-water flow patterns
- Exploitation of novel surface chemistry to maximise oil output from reservoirs
- Physical solutions to oil recovery such as the optimisation of controlled hydraulic fracturing for ‘tight gas’ reservoirs.
Some key research centres include:
- The BP Institute (BPI) for Multiphase Flow, which is a multi-departmental collaboration.
Research on surfaces and particles include: cracking of surface films; colloidosomes; surface chemistry and shape changing particles. The Institute also focuses on the fundamental fluid mechanics of multi-phase flows with particular interest including turbulent mixing and plumes; surface tension modelling; dissolution and convection; oil and gas flows in porous rocks; and volcanic flows and turbidites.
We collaborate with industrial partners and are also actively involved in increasing both energy awareness and public understanding of the opportunities and challenges in hydrocarbon recovery.
Please visit individual faculty profiles to learn more about their research in the Hydrocarbon Recovery theme. The lead for Hydrocarbon Recovery is Professor Andy Woods.
People specializing in this area
- CO2 sequestration via mineral carbonation
- CO2 sequestration in industrial by-products, residues and wastes
- Stability of wellbore cementitious systems in CO2 rich environment (e.g. associated with CO2 injection and storage in deep saline aquifers and depleted oil and gas reservoirs)
- Integrated CO2 capture and sequestration systems
- Applications of MgO in chemical looping
- Geological and seawater CO2 sequestration
- Carbon capture with desalination brine and other by-products
Theoretical simulation of processes relevant to carbon capture mainly at the water/solid interface
Research on geological carbon storage including natural CO2 storage, injection experiments and imaging and modelling storage
Combustion modelling and simulation; combustion CFD; two-phase flow modelling and simulation; petrochemical plant explosion safety case analysis
Interaction between chemical reaction, diffusion of heat and mass, and convection, in both industrial and environmental flows
Fluid flows where density variations play a critical dynamical role
Interfacial studies of the rock/oil/water surfaces, using a combination of traditional and novel experimental approaches
Colloids and polymers: dispersion,emulsification and stability
Fluid dynamics of the environment
- Chemical looping combustion of solid fuels
- Use of Ca-based sorbents for the separation of CO2 from flue gases
- Enhancement of the water-gas shift reaction in the presence of Ca-based sorbents
I am interested in flow of complex fluids in bulk and mesoscopic confinement. In particular, I am studying the underlying self-assembled structure of surfactant and polymer solutions as they are sheared using bulk rheology combined with synchrotron radiation (Small Angle X-ray Scattering).
Molecular mechanisms that control adsorption processes in porous materials
1. Examining the possibility of capturing the carbon dioxide evolved from alakaline fuel cells by mineralisation
2. The use of carbon dioxide to upgrade potassium poor minerals
Fluid mechanics of carbon dioxide sequestration.
Electrochemical redox reactions at the interface of electrodes and electrolytes and morphology of electrodic materials
Computational fluid dynamics, mostly dealing with interfaces at low Reynolds number.
Scour and liquefaction around offshore structures, tsunami wave propagation, run-up and impact on coastal structures, flood risk modelling, turbulent mixing and water quality modelling
Underground Construction, Urban Infrastructure Renewal and Innovative Sensor Technologies for Infrastructure Monitoring
Combustion and reacting flows
Fluid dynamics of the earth in a host of geophysical settings
- Public understanding of the subsurface, attitudes towards conventional and unconventional fossil fuels
- Political and social acceptability of CCS infrastructure based on stakeholder surveys and public opinion surveys on four continents; regulation and economics of CCS; and CCS deployment in developing countries
- Member of Steering Committee of International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Programme Social Research Network
- Member of European Commission Zero Emission Platform Task Force on Public Communications
- Member of CATO-2 (Dutch national CCS programme) Advisory Board
Research in colloid science and fluid mechanics
- Combustion, gasification and pyrolysis
- Chemical looping combustion
- Reactor and process modelling
Energy and Environment, Combustion modelling and physics and the impact of combustion on the environment.
Two-phase flow (especially vapour-droplet flows), the thermodynamics of power generation, Computational Fluid Dynamics, and heat pumps.
Vertical Motions, River Drainage and Mantle Convection
Passive seismic network in the volcanic zones of north and central Iceland
Fluid flow processes, many including phase changes. The character of the work includes both theoretical analysis and experimental modelling.
Thermodynamics and fluid mechanics