Petroleum Extraction from Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources: An ExoMars Spin-off

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Earth Science and Engineering


A Mini-PIPPS proposal to transfer knowledge from analytical advances from ExoMars instrument development to the petroleum industry. Subcritical water will be used to extract hydrocarbons from samples on Mars. Manipulation of temperature and pressure allows the selective dissolution and transformation of organic compounds. On Earth these approaches can be used to turn unconventional hydrocarbons into conventional petroleum. The global amounts of unconventional resources dwarf their conventional counterparts. Compared to existing procedures, subcritical water processing has substantial environmental and economical benefits. This proposal, which combines Imperial College London and BP, is exciting and topical and could have an enormous impact on the UK and global economy.


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