Media tip sheet: Natural gas exploration experts at Colorado State University
The following experts are available to talk about natural gas exploration occurring in Colorado and across the Western United States. This list is for media use only and not intended for publication. To see a sampling of the cutting-edge natural gas research at CSU on YouTube, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2q3dqBzw3A.
Environmental effects of natural gas compression
Led by founder Professor Bryan Willson and co-director Morgan DeFoort, the Colorado State University Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory has done more than any group in the world to address impacts of natural gas pipelines, helping industry partners reduce environmental effects of natural gas compression as well as improve efficiency. Much of the research originated with new requirements for industry created through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 1990 Clean Air Act. Research is primarily focused on advanced ignition systems (laser, micropilot, pre-combustion chamber) fuel injection systems, and aftertreatment systems (SCR, NSCR, oxidation catalysts). To speak with Willson or DeFoort, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or Emily.Wilmsen@colostate.edu.
Fracking fluid and water
Ken Carlson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, can talk about water quality testing or fracking fluid disclosure policies and regulations that are currently being discussed in Colorado. To speak with Carlson, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or Emily.Wilmsen@colostate.edu.
Reducing emissions created by transportation and distribution of natural gas
Dan Olsen, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, can talk about reducing carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen or NOx on small compressor engines at or near wellheads as well as emissions that occur in natural gas transmission. Olsen has worked with such organizations as the California Energy Commission and companies including Anadarko and Encana to test new and emerging products related to emissions. To speak with Olsen, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or Emily.Wilmsen@colostate.edu.
Mark Paschke is the Shell Endowed Chair of Ecological Restoration in the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship. Paschke can talk about the restoration of ecosystems impacted by natural gas exploration. He has ongoing research on mitigating ecological impacts associated with energy development in the Rocky Mountain region. To speak with Paschke, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or Kimberly.Sorensen@colostate.edu.
Improved understanding of natural gas accumulation in shales
Sally Sutton, associate professor and department head in geosciences, works on shale, the rock type that serves as both source and host for many of the natural gas deposits being actively developed. Her work focuses on relating chemical, mineralogical and textural characteristics of shales to the ease with which they transmit or accumulate fluids, including natural gas. One aim of this work is to minimize exploration risk and improve predictions of well performance and longevity. More broadly, she is able to talk about the geology of natural gas deposits. To speak with Sutton, contact Kimberly Sorensen at (970) 491-0757 or Kimberly.Sorensen@colostate.edu.
Use of biomass in large industrial engines
Dan Olsen, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is currently working with Caterpillar to evaluate producer gas combustion properties in a special single cylinder test engine. In related research, Morgan DeFoort, co-director of the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory, is working with Enerjetik (a gasifier company) to investigate performance of large gasifiers and system integration with industrial engines. A gasifier is a system that generates a combustible gas (producer or wood gas) from biomass such as wood chips, which is used in industrial engines to generate electricity. Caterpillar has had requests for engines that run on producer gas, or wood gas, but the combustion properties of those gasses requires more research. To speak with Olsen or DeFoort, contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336 or Emily.Wilmsen@colostate.edu.