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Chemical Engineering

Vladimir Alvarado explains to a graduate student how oil moves through rock.

Improved Oil Recovery Laboratory

One of the research groups using the new High Bay Research Facility is Department of Chemical Engineering Head Vladimir Alvarado and his Improved Oil Recovery Laboratory. Alvarado’s group will benefit from the facility’s space, equipment and collaborations.

The high-bay space will be used to test larger-scale flow experiments that are not possible in traditional lab space. For instance, flow circuits for emulsions, foams and polymeric solutions will be developed, and cooperation with colleagues will allow testing of pilot-scale systems. The new spaces make it possible to process large volumes of fluids and rock under better preservation conditions. This is absolutely essential to conduct delicate experiments that are highly dependent upon compositional control.

In addition, equipment that was once scattered across campus due to space limitations can now be centralized in one facility. The new building can attract additional funding and top team members to collaborate on oil and gas improved recovery research. The multidisciplinary collaborations, including with the future Geomechanical/Petrology Laboratory lab in the High Bay Research Facility, can lead to new research lines. That research will, in turn, benefit the state and beyond.

Discoveries and concepts developed through the associated programs can be, in many cases, applied to reservoirs in Wyoming through entities such as the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute. Cooperation with oil and gas corporations in the U.S. and overseas will enrich activities associated with the program. This in turn should launch intellectual property development and bring returns to Wyoming.


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Chemical Engineering

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Email: che-info@uwyo.edu

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