Dr Sam Krevor
Five minutes with Dr Sam Krevor, Senior Lecturer, Department of Earth Science and Engineering
1. Tell us about your research in a nutshell
My research is focused on storing carbon dioxide (CO2) by injecting large volumes of CO2 from the atmosphere into the ground with the ultimate aim of mitigating climate change.
My research focuses on a couple of key areas. First, the science and the physics of what happens when CO2 is placed underground. For example, how is it trapped? What chemical reactions might happen? How can we avoid catastrophic events such as the formation of reservoirs that might cause earthquakes?
Second, on a larger scale we are developing simplified models of these processes to help us evaluate any problems in scaling up these containment strategies to a global scale.
2. Tell us about some of your recent projects
We have a number of projects funded by industry that are concentrated on developing a detailed understanding of the engineering and physics specific to carbon storage. One of the largest initiatives at Imperial is the Qatar Carbonate and Carbon Storage Research Centre. This focuses on applying Imperial’s earth science and chemical engineering expertise to situations of specific interest in Qatar. For example, we are constructing models and digital representations of underground fluid flows to improve our understanding of CO2 storage in carbonate reservoirs.
My research group also has projects funded by Research Councils to consider related issues, such as how CO2 might be stored locally in the UK, and the development of Europe-wide energy networks that would simultaneously store CO2 and generate energy.
3. What impact could your research have for our industry partners?
This suggests that over the next few decades CO2 storage is going to develop as an industry in itself. It has even been suggested that it will grow to a similar size as the oil and gas industry today."
CO2 storage is increasingly seen as a necessary strategy if we are going to meet global emissions reduction targets and avoid dangerous climate change. Every scenario and every climate change target that has been thoroughly evaluated - whether it’s 2 degrees C or 1.5 – has highlighted CO2 storage as not just important but also necessary. This suggests that over the next few decades CO2 storage is going to develop as an industry in itself. It has even been suggested that it will grow to a similar size as the oil and gas industry today. As a result, many businesses are already investing in the kind of deep science, enabling technologies and scaling models for storage strategies that we offer at Imperial.
4. What's interesting you most about your field at the moment?
Carbon capture is already such an interesting topic. From a purely scientific point of view, fascinating and interesting physical, chemical and geo-scientific processes are all happening at once. New discoveries are constantly being made by looking at the movement of fluids and monitoring the chemical reactions taking place underground. At the same time, the academic research underpinning storage strategies has the potential for significantly mitigating climate change.
It’s this mixture of very interesting science and potentially major societal impact that I find very exciting.
5. Who/what sectors would be interested in hearing more about your research?
- Industries such as the oil and gas sector that may be involved in the deployment and management of carbon storage infrastructure
- Policy makers interested in incentivising large scale adoption of carbon storage technologies
- NGOs and other public stakeholders concerned with climate change mitigation
Learn more about the Qatar Carbonate and Carbon Storage Research Centre