Dr. Guerrero-Millan was awarded with one of the ACS Petroleum Research Foundation grants. The Petroleum Research Fund is an endowed fund, managed by the American Chemical Society that supports fundamental research directly related to petroleum or fossil fuels. The purpose of these grants is double: first, develop fundamental science that helps enhance the petroleum field. Second, support undergraduate research, allocating at least 40% of the funds for students.
Dr. Guerrero-Millan’s proposal, “Effects of surface charge in water-oil interfaces”, explore the use of electro-coflow in glass-based microfluidic devices to mimic and understand the extraction of petroleum. Conventional oil recovery methods involve the formation of emulsions when water is injected to force the flow of crude oil to the head well. This project will use microfluidic devices to mimic the micron-size pores of the rocks and improve our understanding of the processes that control how oil is extracted.
In her lab, students learn how to fabricate the devices, as well as, high speed microscopic techniques, that allow them to collect data in form of videos. Later on, through image processing, students extract data to be analyzed.