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Highlight Seminar: Eric Oelkers, University College London

Date: October 26, 2015

Time: 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Location: Computer Science, Room 104

Professor Eric Oelkers, of the University College London, will speak on “Carbon Storage in Basalts: The CarbFix Story 2006-2015” as part of the 2015-2016 Highlight Seminar Series.

Photo Prof_Eric_OelkersABSTRACT
The CARBFIX was launched at the height of optimism surrounding the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) to mitigate the increasing atmospheric carbon concentration and associated consequences.  Motivated by the Icelandic government, CARBFIX was founded to develop and demonstrate as an industrial process the permanent storage of CO2 injected into the subsurface by converting basalt into stable carbonate minerals.  Over the past decade numerous political, engineering, and scientific challenges have been overcome leading to the first successful injection of 175 tons of pure CO2 into a low temperature system, of which more than 90% of the injected carbon was transformed into calcite in less than one year.  After a frustrating battle with bio-clogging, The CARBFIX project is now successfully storing in excess of 1,000 tons monthly of a  H2S-CO2 mixture in a high temperature basaltic reservoir, where the vast majority of the injected gases have been transformed to pyrite and calcite within weeks.  This presentation reviews the highlights of this ongoing project.

Eric H. Oelkers is a Professor of Aqueous Geochemistry at the University College London and CNRS research director with the Géosciences Environnement Toulouse (GET) laboratory in Toulouse, France. Professor Oelkers also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Iceland. He received B.Sc degrees in Chemistry and Earth Science from MIT before completing a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the coordinator of the CO2-REACT European Research and Training Networks as well as a partner in the MET-TRANS, MINSC, and ISO-NOSE networks.

Professor Oelkers is currently co-editor of Geochemical Perspectives and was a principle organizer of the 2015 Goldschmidt conference held in Prague during August 2015. He has previously served as President of the European Association for Geochemistry, director of the Geochemical Society, co-editor in Chief of Chemical Geology, associate editor of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, and guest editor of Elements. Professor Oelkers has made substantial contributions to the understanding of the thermodynamics and kinetics of water-rock interactions.