Simulated nanostructures for better oil extraction – University of Copenhagen

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09 August 2011

Simulated nanostructures for better oil extraction

Contrary to common belief oil is not running out. It’s just stuck underground. A new associate professor at the Department of Chemistry will spend the next half year trying to build a simple simulation of molecules of oil sticking to chalk.

Hiroshi Sakuma. Ny lektor ved Kemisk Institut
Hiroshi Sakuma comes from a position at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, where he has been examining solid/liquid interfaces with techniques such as X-ray reflectivity, X-ray diffraction, surface forces apparatus and molecular dynamics simulations.

In Copenhagen where he is affiliated with Susan Stipps Nano-chalk group he will focus on molecular simulation, and he is very excited about the prospect of collaborating with chemists, geologists, physicists and a host of other disciplines in the group.
Interdisciplinary groups are not very common in Japan, and I think working in this group I will be able to build a strong network for future collaborations, says Sakuma.

Sakuma hopes to discover a fundamental mechanism behind the adsorption of organic molecules to chalk, In other words: Why does oil stick to chalk, and although he will be working in the Nano-Science Center, his focus will be on structures a bit smaller. “I will be looking at the atomic, rather than the nano-scale. By looking at the atomic view I hope to understand the fundamental physics and chemistry at these interfaces”, concludes Sakuma, who will be staying in Copenhagen until December 30th. 2011.