Production of Green Energy
Professor Lee Kun-sang (Department of Earth Resources and Environmental Engineering)
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Professor Lee Kun-sang of the Department of Earth Resources and Environmental Engineering is an expert in the field of earth resources. His paper, “Evaluation of CO2 injection in shale gas reservoirs with multi-component transport and geomechanical effects”, discusses a novel method of sequestrating carbon dioxide while extracting more shale gas efficiently.
Carbon dioxide, also known as CO2, continues to be a huge problem on the agenda nowadays. Numerous countries and environmental groups are trying to reduce CO2 emissions by imposing carbon tax. This may help reduce the CO2 emission rate but it does not actually reduce the total amount of CO2 in the air. What Lee has been studying may be a groundbreaking way to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere.
The idea sparked up a few years ago when Lee and his students were funded the government through a research program to visit Pennsylvania State University in the US, that has been initiating research on this topic. The most well-known idea at the moment is to store the CO2 in the ground, but the problem with this was the economic drawbacks. Lee’s research focuses on injecting CO2 into shale reservoirs, which is a very tight sedimentary rock.
This method, also known as carbon capture and storage (CCS), is the act of separating CO2 from flue gases and collect them to store them underground. Just injecting CO2 into the ground results in high costs to store them, but Lee's approach not only takes care of CO2 in the air, but also allows for an easier extraction of shale gas as CO2 has a stronger tendency to absorb to shale. Simply put, CO2 increases the pressure into the methane gas while CO2 resides in the shale. All in all, CCS is economically and environmentally beneficial.
Lee is continuously working to keep the natural properties of shale rock. Since it has a very meticulous feature, injecting oil or gas in them changes the properties a lot. Trying to develop the most refined model that would keep the properties of shale rock is one of Lee’s goals.
Kim Seung-jun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kim Youn-soo
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