School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Energy and Natural Resources

Energy and Natural Resources

Our research addresses many resources needed to sustain a growing global population. We look to make sure they have the least impact on the environment and sustainability.

It spans developments in coal and petroleum energy. We've also made discoveries in unconventional geoenergy, geothermal energy and carbon storage.

Multidisciplinary group of experts

We are a multidisciplinary group comprising:

  • geoscientists
  • organic and inorganic geochemists
  • microbial ecologists
  • sedimentologists
  • geomechanical modellers

From fossil fuels to the energy of the future

Our research reflects a balance between:

  • fossil fuels as a critical energy resource
  • the move towards a lower carbon global economy

Petroleum systems

We look at conventional and unconventional petroleum systems, with our studies integrating the:

  • geological
  • geophysical
  • geochemical
  • microbiological

This includes work on shale gas, oil shale, crude oil and pore pressure.

It also include carbonate reservoirs, petroleum microbiology and asphaltene aggregation.

We look at biological upgrading of crude oil to natural gas.

International partners

We work with international government funding bodies or industry partners from:

  • South America
  • the Middle East
  • Southeast Asia
  • Africa

Geothermal research

Our regional geothermal research uses geochemistry of highly saline groundwaters. It shows prospects for drilling.

This leads to two deep boreholes (1 km and 1.8 km) generating results to inform commercial activity.

We focus on retention of carbon dioxide in both soils and geological repositories. We also explore for geothermal energy sources.

Excellent technical staff and facilities

Excellent technical staff underpin our research. We enjoy fantastic laboratory and computer-based research facilities. These include the Wolfson Northern Carbon Reduction Laboratory.

We work on mineral resource requirements for renewable energy (critical minerals). We investigate global fluxes of commodities. We look at innovative ways of modelling these.

We built a carbon capture garden in the grounds of our Urban Sciences Building as part of the SUCCESS project.
We built a carbon capture garden in the grounds of our Urban Sciences Building as part of the SUCCESS project.