CMI Technology studies CO2 storage in geological formations with a focus on understanding leakage risks associated with old oil and gas wells, and on modelling injection in unconventional reservoirs. A program on advanced batteries is developing new diagnostic methods. Other research focuses on incentivizing the decarbonisation of the transportation sector, with an emphasis on biofuel production combined with CO2 capture and storage.
Research Highlights – At a Glance
Michael Celia: In earlier work, the Celia group studied CO2 injection into depleted shale-gas systems and concluded that it was not feasible for most situations. That modeling work has now been extended to study the fate of fracking fluids in shale-gas systems. Modeling results indicate that the large amount of fracking fluids left underground is unlikely to pose any significant environmental risk.
Daniel Steingart: The misbehavior of batteries shows up in many ways and from a variety of root causes. The challenge is determining the where and what of the root causes. In 2017, the Princeton Lab for Electrochemical Engineering Systems Research made advances toward this understanding by studying the most fundamental electrochemical behaviors with novel electron microscopy.
Eric Larson: The US transportation sector emits about a quarter of total US greenhouse gases. It may be the most challenging sector to decarbonize, given its heavy reliance on petroleum and millions of small emission sources. Biofuels are one of the few decarbonization options, especially for difficult-to-electrify modes. Moreover, deployment of biofuel production systems that incorporate CO2 capture and storage may be essential for achieving mid-century greenhouse gas emission reductions that limit global warming to 2oC. The required speed and scale of deployment of biomass supply infrastructure and conversion facilities to meet future biofuels targets that could mitigate significant transportation sector emissions have no historical precedents. Incentives stronger than those that drove the expansion of the US corn-ethanol industry will be needed for an advanced biofuel industry to contribute significant carbon mitigation by mid-century.
Current Research Projects
- Fate of Fracking Fluids in Shale-Gas Systems
- Understanding Long-Term Battery Behavior Through Fundamental Crystal Growth
- Mid-Century Advanced Biofuel Potential for the US: A Thought Experiment
- Technology Publications