Hi, my name is Karambir Khangoora and I am a senior in the Chemical Engineering Department. I am working with Jie Zhang, who is a postdoctoral researcher in the Scherer Lab, on the permeability of shale. This work is of interest for several reasons. One, exhausted petroleum reservoirs (which commonly have shale as a cap rock) are being looked at as potential locations for the geosequestration of carbon dioxide. And secondly, shale may contain methane which can be extracted to use as fuel. We are using several techniques to characterize the shale, including beam-bending, scanning-electron microscopy, and nitrogen adsorption. After graduating, I hope to work in a health clinic in Sub-Saharan Africa doing some sort of medical research before going to medical school.
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of surface of shale specimen showing flaky nature of the structure, which contains a high clay content
SEM looking down on a cut through the clay. The smooth layers (bedding planes) are seen in the upper right, and the edges of the planes intersecting the cut are evident at the lower left.