I am at heart a chemical engineer who likes studying processes that take place in the Earth's subsurface. My research combines laboratory experiments and models to provide answers to fundamental questions on the physics of fluid flow and phase-equilibria in rocks and other porous media. Examples include the study of supercritical gas adsorption in pore spaces or the characterization of single- and multi-phase flows in rocks. I apply multidimensional imaging techniques, such as x-ray CT or PET, to relate physical observations to the complex structure of porous materials. Answers to these research questions are applicable to a variety of applications and include the sequestration of CO2 into deep geological formations with or without hydrocarbon recovery, shale gas extraction, enhanced oil recovery, geothermal energy and groundwater hydrology.
QATAR COMPLEX POROUS MEDIA LAB
Opened at the end of 2015, the Qatar Complex Porous Media Laboratory is the most recent addition to the QCCSRC research hub at Imperial College London. The lab is dedicated to the study of flow, transport and storage mechanisms in porous systems, including reservoir- and cap-rocks, with relevance to CO2 storage and hydrocarbon recovery operations. More information on the lab can be found here.
Since September 2017 | Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, UK
2015 - 2017 | Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, UK
2013 - 2014 | Assistant Professor, Department of Petroleum Engineering, Colorado School of Mines (CO), USA
2010 - 2013 | Postdoctoral scholar, Department of Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford University (CA), USA
2009 - 2010 | Postdoctoral scholar, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
2004 - 2009 | PhD (Dr. sc. ETH Zurich), Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
1999 - 2004 | M.Sc. ETH Zurich, Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Pini R, Benson SM, 2017, Capillary pressure heterogeneity and hysteresis for the supercritical CO 2 /water system in a sandstone, Advances in Water Resources, ISSN:0309-1708
et al., 2017, Imaging and quantification of spreading and trapping of carbon dioxide in saline aquifers using meter-scale laboratory experiments, Water Resources Research, Vol:53, ISSN:0043-1397, Pages:485-502
et al., 2016, Characterization of heterogeneity in the Heletz sandstone from core to pore scale and quantification of its impact on multi-phase flow, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, Vol:48, ISSN:1750-5836, Pages:69-83
Pini R, Madonna C, 2016, Moving across scales: a quantitative assessment of X-ray CT to measure the porosity of rocks, Journal of Porous Materials, Vol:23, ISSN:1380-2224, Pages:325-338
et al., 2017, Multidimensional Imaging of Density Driven Convection in a Porous Medium, Pages:4981-4985, ISSN:1876-6102