Friday, May 13, 2016

Microwavable Graphene Nanoribbon-Polymers Seal Well Bores

No wonder the Saudis are looking to diversify their economy and get out of the oil and gas business. By the time those innovative Frackers in the US Oil & Gas Industry get through they'll be producing oil at > $25 per barrel!

The article excerpted and link below describes an ingenious application of microwavable graphene nanoribbon-polymers to seal well bores that leak. The research was conducted by Rice University in Houston.

From the article:

"This is a far more practical and cost-effective way to increase the stability of a well over a long period," Tour said. 
In the lab, the nanoribbons were functionalized—or modified—with polypropylene oxide to aid their dispersal in the polymer. Mechanical tests on composite-reinforced sandstone showed the process increased its average strength from 5.8 to 13.3 megapascals, a 130 percent boost in this measurement of internal pressure, Shahsavari said. Similarly, the toughness of the composite increased by a factor of six. 
"That indicates the composite can absorb about six times more energy before failure," he said. "Mechanical testing at smaller scales via nanoindentation exhibited even more local enhancement, mainly due to the strong interaction between nanoribbons and the polymer. This, combined with the filling effect of the nanoribbon-polymer into the pore spaces of the sandstone, led to the observed enhancements."
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