Rock Characterization Lab connects faculty and students with industry

Construction has begun on the GGPE Rock Characterization Laboratory (RCL), a 2,000-square-foot, multidisciplinary research space in McNutt Hall devoted to characterizing and testing geomaterials and associated fluids. The mission of the RCL is to connect Missouri S&T faculty and students with industry through applied rock, fluid and geomechanical research and training. Students will explore the geochemical, petrophysical and geomechanical properties of rock, including their fabrics, strengths and heterogeneities. They will also examine the compositions of fluids – both natural and human-made – and their interactions with rocks to understand how both the fluid and rock properties change under different conditions. These new capabilities will enable industry research and education in areas such as geochemistry, geomechanics, hydraulic fracturing, enhanced oil and gas recovery, CO2 storage, multiphase fluid flow in porous media, and oil and gas and geothermal development technologies. Construction began in June and is expected to be completed in October 2020. While construction costs will be fully covered by campus funding, the RCL hopes to raise $2.1 million to purchase laboratory equipment. The equipment will support research in GGPE and other S&T departments and will improve many classroom experiences through active learning using the equipment.

An alternative fuel source for mining explosives: Soybean oil

Dr. Mulligan is examining the use of soybean oil as an alternative fuel source for the common mining explosive ANFO. The soybean oil explosive has been dubbed ANSOY. The study examines how ANSOY performs relative to ANFO in cost, mining applications, and its effects on the environment. The mining industry uses approximately 3.5 billion pounds of ANFO annually. With 6 percent of ANFO being made from diesel (30 million gallons), there is potentially significant economic benefits to the Missouri Soybean industry, cost savings to the mining industry, and reduced environmental effects.

Marek Locmelis receives NSF CAREER award to investigate metal transport in the deep Earth

Dr. Marek Locmelis, assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering, received a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The five-year, $550.000 award will support his research on the source, transport and deposition of economically important metals in the lower continental crust.