In 2019, the North Dakota legislature designated the EERC as the energy research center for North Dakota. The State Energy Research Center of North Dakota (SERC) is focusing on emerging topics critical to the state’s energy industry and environmental challenges, such as flaring reduction, pipeline safety, efficient lignite use, and increasing oil recovery while decreasing environmental impacts.
SERC provides researchers a platform for developing impactful technologies that support North Dakota’s energy industry and benefit the environment.
Increased infrastructure in North Dakota for moving large volumes of oil and gas require new technology for pipeline safety to achieve the goal of zero spills or leaks.
A team at the EERC received SERC funding to address the need for further research into the reuse, recycling, or repurposing potential of wind blades in North Dakota.
During this project, a total of 78 North Dakota shale samples from three different formations (Niobrara, Pierre, and Bakken) were evaluated for total REE and other critical mineral content.
“We’re less than a year and a half into the initial SERC program,” said Erickson. “It’s exploratory and fundamental, so it takes time for things to move forward. But we’ve already seen six new invention disclosures as a result, and we will see more before the first biennium is up.”
A recently completed research study at the EERC provides new evaluations of the potential to make high-value graphene-based solid carbon products from North Dakota lignite.
A recently completed SERC project at the EERC is addressing the changing operations in the oil and gas industry, with the goal of determining if water extraction from the Inyan Kara (IK) Formation is technically viable for managing subsurface pressure during the drilling and construction of nearby Bakken wells.
New research was recently completed with the goal of identifying conversion technologies that directly—in a single step—convert natural gas or methane to liquid products that are more easily stored, transported, and marketed.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s program took place online, and students and facilitators chose to adapt and continue learning to the best of their ability—from the comfort of their own homes.
Much of the testing done on core taken from the Minnkota site will be completed at the EERC during summer 2020, and will be used to develop a North Dakota CO2 storage facility permit proposal for Minnkota and Project Tundra.
This year’s Energy Hawks expand to include students from across the state and will operate fully remotely through the summer.
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