Research in Energy and the Environment
There are many indicators that suggest that we must change the ways we supply and use energy to a more sustainable energy system for the long term. Environmental impacts from combustion range across scales from local to regional effects caused by particulate, sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions to global concerns over carbon dioxide emissions as a greenhouse gas. In addition, there are concerns over increases in land and water use needed for producing, extracting and converting various energy forms. Energy security concerns are also growing worldwide - driven by the geopolitical pressures caused by the maldistribution of fossil resources.
We must diversify our energy supply options while minimizing the environmental effects associated with fossil fuel use. Much of the research in our group focuses on renewable energy technologies. For example, investigations are aimed at producing cleaner fuels and renewable biomass and geothermal energy systems, while other research projects are focused on processes to sequester carbon and remediate environmentally contaminated areas. Additionally, the Tester research group has been developing a range of experimental and theoretical methods to probe kinetics, phase behavior and transport phenomena in hydrothermal and supercritical media at elevated temperatures and pressures.