Fall 2018 Newsletter Volume 2

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UCFER Third Round of Solicitations

On November 15, 2017, UCFER released its third request for proposals (RFP) to its sixteen-member Coalition. The RFP closed on January 10, 2018. A total of 81 proposals were received and reviewed by the Technical Advisory Council, Core Competency Board, external reviewers, other Coalition faculty, and the Executive Council. Funding available for this round of proposals was $4.099 million and the total funding requested was $20.196 million. The chart on the following page summarizes the funding requested for each topic area.

Topics H-N funding amounts.

UCFER recommendations were provided to NETL for funding consideration. The following 11 projects were approved for funding:

Seed-Free MHD Topping Cycle for Coal and Gas Fired Power GenerationTexas A&M Engineering Experiment, 24-month project, $424,100

New NETL Project Manager

On behalf of all member universities, the UCFER Operation Management Team (OMT) would like to thank NETL’s Dr. Sydni Credle for her time and contributions to UCFER as federal project manager over the past three years. OMT is pleased to announce that Dr. Omer R. Bakshi will be taking on the role of federal project manager, effective immediately. Current projects will not be affected by the change. We are looking forward to working with Dr. Bakshi over the coming years.


  • UCFER has two frequently asked question sections on its website. The first covers general, public questions at energy.psu.edu/ucfer/faq.html. The second, energy.psu.edu/ucfer/memonly/index.html is for Coalition members only. Passwords for each university have been provided to your Technical Advisory Council member who can be identified on pages six and seven of this newsletter. If your TAC representative has lost or forgotten your university’s password, please contact Elizabeth Wood at ucfer-omt@ems.psu.edu.
  • Several projects from the first round of solicitations will be completed this fall. After the final reports have been accepted, they will be posted in the member’s only section of the UCFER’s website along with all quarterly reports. Penn State will be sending out notices to the TAC and CCAB members when final reports are posted.

Collaboration with NETL a Key Component of UCFER

UCFER meeting participants networking.

The University Coalition for Fossil Energy Research was established to advance basic and applied fossil energy research thorough mechanisms that promote collaboration among the Department of Energy and the universities that are members of the Coalition through the coordination of research and the sharing of data. In addition to regularly-scheduled discussions with their National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) collaborators, the following examples of collaboration between NETL and the UCFER projects as reported by the principal investigators. For projects that have only recently started, anticipated collaborative efforts have been listed.

Round One Projects

Shunde Yin, University of WyomingA Low-Cost Technique for in-Situ Stresses and Geomechanical Properties Measurement Based on Leak-Off and Caliper Logs

  • NETL personnel including Bob McLendon (NETL point-of-contact), Mark McKoy, Dustin Crandall, Robert Vagnetti, Igor Haljasmaa, and Richard Spaulding provided field data, Marcellus Shale core samples, and performed laboratory testing.

Michael Hickner, Penn StateEfficient Reduction of CO2 in a Bipolar Membrane-based Electrochemical Cell

Examples of Outreach Activities Over the Last Year

Journal Articles

Several journal articles were published or are under review on work performed on UCFER projects. They include:

  • Yin, Shunde, A fully coupled finite element framework for thermal fracturing simulation in subsurface cold CO2 injection, Petroleum, 4 (2018) 65-74.
  • Zhang, Hua, Shunde Yin, and Bernt S. Aadnoy, Poroelastic modeling of borehole breakouts for in-situ stress determination by finite element method, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 162 (2018) 674-684.
  • Han, Hong Xue, and Shunde Yin, Determination of In-Situ Stress and Geomechanical Properties from Borehole Deformation, Energies, 11(1): 131, 2018.
  • Han, Hong Xue, Shunde Yin, and Bernt Sigve Aadnoy, Impact of elliptical boreholes on in situ stress estimation from leak-off test data, Petroleum Science, (2018) 10.1007/s12182-018-0248-8.
  • Han, Hong Xue, Shunde Yin, and Bernt Sigve Aadnoy, Finite element modeling of borehole breakouts for in-situ stress determination, International Journal of Geomechanics, (2018) accepted.
  • Z. Yan, L. Zhu, Y. C. Li, R. Wycisk, P. N. Pintauro, M. A. Hickner, and T. E. Mallouk, The balance of electric field and interfacial catalysis in promoting water dissociation in bipolar membranes, Energy & Environmental Science, 11 (2018) 2235-2245.

Conference Papers

Two conference papers were prepared and presented:

Awards and Honors

UCFER Director Won ACS National Award

UCFER Director Dr. Chunshan Song was selected by the American Chemical Society (ACS) to receive the George Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry for groundbreaking research in CO2 capture and utilization as well as adsorption and catalysis in fuel processing. Named after Nobel laurete George A. Olah, the award recognizes, encourages, and stimulates outstanding research achievements in hydrocarbon or petroleum chemistry. Learn more about the award’s history and ACS at acs.org.

Recent and Upcoming Events

April 10-12, 2018

2018 Project Review Meeting for Crosscutting Research Portfolios

Bruce Miller and Joel Morrison represented UCFER at NETL’s Crosscutting Research Annual Meeting held April 10-12, 2018 at the Omni William Penn hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Miller gave a presentation. He provided a brief overview of the development and structure of UCFER, the current status of UCFER and presented significant accomplishments to date.

May 29-June 1, 2018

EMI 2018 – MIT Mini-symposium (for EMI 2018, affiliated with EMI Poromechanics Committee):  “Coupled Processes in Subsurface Technologies”

This mini-symposium, part of the Engineering Mechanics Institute Conferece, presented on similar topics that UCFER projects are exploring and was organized by University of Wyomying’s Shunde Yin and MIT’s Ruben Juanes. The symposium attracted contributions that discussed the study of coupled processes associated with, but not limited to, unconventional oil and gas development, geothermal exploitation, solid/fluid waste disposal, geological carbon
sequestration and underground gas storage.