288592 Fluid Flow Challenges to Meet for the Growing Demands for Energy
Global population is expected to reach 9 billion by the year 2050 putting tremendous pressure on delivering energy to meet the expected demands. An integral part of this solution will continue to be the use of fossil fuels, conventional and unconventional. Due to various issues, geopolitical to technical costs to new technology requirements, it is expected that the production rate of oil will plateau around 100 Mbbpd. However, this assumes tremendous improvements in the ability to recover oil in existing an new oil reserves. In large part, the technical challenges for this recovery improvements are governed by transport phenomena and physical chemistry. From the fluid flow in low permeable reservoirs with nano scale pores with surface heterogeneity, to the challenge of oil extraction from unconventional resources like oil sands in multiphase processes.
The challenges facing society is to get to sustainable / renewable energy. The industry is still very small today and is projected to be still a small fraction percentage overall energy used in 2030 but this is largely due to technical challenges, high cost and the need for some significant breakthrough technologies / solutions. Within the renewable energy space, fluid flow challenges are predominantly related to solution processing, coating processes, separation processes and catalytic processes. As our ability to control features at the nano scale improves, the interplay between transport process and physical chemistry becomes even more important for renewables technology.
This talk will aim to provide an overview of future energy demand in the face of climate challenges and help place in context some of the engineering challenges we face and where fluid flow related problems are or will be present.