This week at the Energy Symposium, Dr. Wen Song, Assistant Professor of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at UT Austin, will present a talk titled "Leveraging the Power of Small towards Energy Resources Recovery."
Bio: Dr. Wen Song is an Assistant Professor in the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at UT Austin. Her research focuses on understanding and leveraging the fundamental micro/nanoscale transport dynamics that dictate subsurface energy and environmental resources. Her key contributions towards addressing the grand challenge of supplying reliable, sustainable energy to society include pioneering the field of real-rock microfluidics to enable direct, real-time, pore-scale visualization of transport dynamics in micro/nanofluidic systems with representative geometric and chemical characteristics. Alongside research, she is also passionate about education and service; she teaches PGE 383: Small-Scale Fluid Flow and PGE 323K: Reservoir Engineering I. Dr. Song obtained her Ph.D. degree in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford University with a Ph.D. minor in Mechanical Engineering.
Abstract: Energy infrastructure and the recovery of energy resources pervade society at the grandest scale (e.g., exajoules 1018 per year). Of the energy resources that we leverage, fossil fuels comprise 85% of the energy consumed and are recovered at rates of ~ 107 barrels per day. Hydrocarbons, however, reside in porous geological sediments and are typically confined to very small pores with length-scales ~ 10-4 to 10-9 m. In this talk, I will show the complexity of subsurface energy systems, and the challenges in the recovery of hydrocarbons, at a massive rate, from these confined porous geometries. I present the use of microfluidics as a method of delineating the mechanisms that ultimately underlie the recovery of subsurface resources, and show, with examples of low salinity waterflooding, how we can develop further techniques in improving the recovery of hydrocarbons.
The UT Energy Symposium meets every Tuesday from 12:30 - 1:45 during the spring 2020 semester and is free and open to the public. No RSVP required.
Can’t attend in person? Sessions are recorded and available on the UT Energy Symposium webpage or the Energy Institute YouTube channel.