Scotland finalist - Shima Ghanaatian

Shima graduated from Petroleum University of Technology (PUT) with a 1st Class Bachelors in Chemical Engineering in 2013. In 2015, she joined Hydrafact Ltd in Edinburgh where she was mainly involved with corrosion studies in oil & gas industry. Continuing her passion for addressing global warming challenge, and following wining prestigious James-Watt Scholarship, she undertook a PhD in Chemical Engineering under supervision of the UK industrial decarbonisation champion Prof. Mercedes Maroto-Valer at the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS), where she currently focuses on carbon storage in geological formations. She is heavily involved in the MILEPOST project, where her research study unravelled the CO2 reactive flow drivers at multi-scale (pore to core) during the CO2 sequestration process. 

Shima has published numerous peer-reviewed Journal articles and conference papers, and her innovative study of CO2 geological storage monitoring is internationally recognised and has achieved commendation through multiple prizes/awards. She has been awarded ‘EPSRC Travel Grant’, ‘EXPO&more Workshop Grant’ and ‘Best PhD Student Presenter award’, the latest at School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University. Her research studies have been presented at a number of international conferences, most recently the Trondheim CO2 Capture and Storage (TCCS) Conference in Norway, June 2019.

Outside of her project, Shima really enjoys teaching and lab demonstrating for the chemical engineering undergraduate students. She wishes to integrate her love for the fantastic outdoors with clean atmosphere and sustainable development in her future profession.

Can we securely store CO2 in geological formation to address global warming challenge

The injection of CO2 in geological formations, e.g. sandstone and carbonate formations disrupt the equilibrium among the resident phases and causes geochemical changes. Determining the safe storage of CO2 in aquifers significantly depends on understanding how fluid phases interact with the porous structure of rocks. Therefore, herein we investigated the reactivity of CO2 saturated brine with different ionic strengths in contact with sandstone at pressure and temperature conditions representative of storage sites. In this work, we employed a systematic combination of different techniques, including hydrothermal tests, ICP-OES, X-ray diffractometer, Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (ESEM-EDS), Micro-Computed Tomography (micro-CT) scanning to address the extremely intricate phenomena of flow, transport and reactions occurring over various temporal and spatial scales in sandstone reservoir rocks. The information gained from this study will allow us to build a better understanding of the dominant drivers of CO2 reactive transport in porous media during CO2 storage.

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