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Fundamental Studies to Enable the Environmentally Conscious Application of Hydraulic Fracturing in Shale Formations (FraccingFundamentals)
Start date: 01 Oct 2014, End date: 30 Sep 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The PI, Striolo, in 2012 organised a workshop on 'hydraulic fracturing'. The workshop was supported by the US National Science Foundation, with the goal of identifying the fundamental phenomena, in particular those that occur at the interface between liquids and rocks, which at present remain unknown and which, once completely understood, could help us understand in depth the technology of hydraulic fracturing. The idea was that when such fundamental questions are answered, it might be possible to implement hydraulic fracturing with minimal environmental consequences.Over 70 scientists participated to the workshop, representing over 10 industries, which presented recent advancements, several universities, federal agencies, national laboratories, and lobbying groups.The present proposal stems from the proceedings of that workshop, and the aim is to address some of the fundamental questions there identified. The chosen questions can be solved using the scientific techniques the PI has developed during his graduate, post-graduate, and faculty appointments at various institutions in the United States. Funding the present Marie Curie Career Integration Grant proposal will allow Striolo to relocate permanently his research group from the University of Oklahoma, in the USA, to the Chemical Engineering Department of University College London, in the UK.Funds from the Marie Curie CIG award will be used to support one doctoral student and to support travel. The funds will be strongly leveraged, and the proposed research will be carried out by four doctoral students, under the direction of the PI. The proposed research is for the most part based on atomistic simulations, which will be conducted taking advantage of the infrastructure available at UCL. Experimental validation will be conducted in collaboration with a number of scientists with whom Striolo has collaborated successfully in the past. The results obtained during the project will have direct practical application.
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