RESEARCH FOCUS AREAS

Energy & Sustainability

The production of hydrocarbons for meeting our energy needs and providing raw materials to the petrochemical industry will continue to be a dominant industry driver for decades to come. However, it is now recognized that the production and use of hydrocarbons comes with an environmental cost. Therefore, emissions associated with hydrocarbon use and surface subsidence in areas around reservoirs will continue to be areas of important research.

Rice ChBE has established a reputation in key needs of the petroleum and natural gas industries, including the development of novel techniques to improve the recovery of hydrocarbons using surfactant-based approaches. These methods have also been shown to be effective for environmental remediation. Research on gas hydrates was initiated at Rice 50 years ago and is expanded today through the introduction of molecular modeling methods. In addition, a new initiative was formed within the Shell Center for Sustainability to combine the hydrate energy research with geologic information in order to understand the historical impact of gas hydrates on climate change on the earth.

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