Eugene Cho, 2017, Chemical and Biological Engineering
Few attempts have been made to accurately quantify methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas (AOG) wells. Since the orders of magnitude of methane emissions vary so much from well to well, it is important to gain more insight into the dynamics of these emissions to effectively target the high emitting wells for immediate remediation efforts (i.e. proper plugging). Working with other interns, I took methane samples from AOG wells in western Pennsylvania. In addition, we started to take measurements in West Virginia. In order to accurately estimate methane emissions, we designed, constructed, and prepared chambers to collect and store these gas samples. My individual project involved analyzing the status of our current chamber design, improving problematic design flaws, and constructing new chambers for the future. This internship has strengthened my interest in the environment. I hope to continue conducting field work and studying sustainable energy and environmental health.