Purdue Research Could Unlock Domestic Energy Resource

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(Image courtesy of Purdue University) (Image courtesy of Purdue University)

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels calls $20 million plans for a shale gas engineering research hub unveiled Tuesday "a prestigious and important moment" in the school's history. The Center for Innovative Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources or CISTAR will be located at Discovery Park in West Lafayette. It will pull in researchers from Purdue, the University of Notre Dame, University of New Mexico, Northwestern University, the University of Texas at Austin, as well as national and international laboratories and organizations. During an on-campus event, leaders including Daniels hailed the promise of contributing to advances that could tap a domestically-available resource.

[Video provided by Purdue University]

He says CISTAR's location at Purdue "places our researchers at the center of transformational technological advances in energy production. What a tribute to our faculty, whose expertise and dedication enable them to play a leading role in this critical work." Fuel production from underground shale-gas deposits, Purdue says, could be a $20 billion annual boost to the U.S. economy.

CISTAR will be funded for five years through the National Science Foundation. The school says additional support will be provided by partners in industry and academia. Purdue is now one of 19 active NSF engineering research centers throughout the country. It will be led by R. Norris and Eleanor Shreve Professor of Chemical Engineering Fabio Ribeiro, who says researchers are proposing a process that would not only be profitable, but also boost the nation's manufacturing competitiveness.

Purdue Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships Suresh Garimella says "CISTAR's goal to develop new energy technologies that will contribute to the responsible and efficient use of the nation's immense shale resources is a transformational change in the energy sector as the nation transitions from petroleum and coal to shale gas for energy production. In addition, this technology also presents global benefits and opportunities since shale deposits are found throughout the world."

CISTAR is expected to be operational October 1. You can read more about the center by clicking here. View a virtual tour of CISTAR labs:

[Video provided by Purdue University]

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