Money makes the world go ’round. But those who attribute an era of petroleum addiction as the culprit of major global conflicts might argue oil does. Throughout the University, experts, researchers, professors and students are addressing the idea of creating a sustainable oil economy. ‘The issue isn’t whether oil is running out, but rather how much people are willing to pay for it,’ said Chris Paola, a professor of geology and geophysics and director of the University’s National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics. Paola said he has been working with five oil companies for several years helping to locate oil by finding sand and sediment deposits. Roger Ruan, co-director of the University’s Center for BioRefining, holds a jug of bio-crude oil in his laboratory. He works with a research group to turn solid biomass and wastes into burnable synthesis gas, liquid biocrude and solid residue. He said by the time an oil company loses interest in a typical oilfield, only about one-third of the oil in the ground is recovered because that’s all that is economically feasible. In the search for oil, fluctuating gas prices and foreign dependency are relevant issues, he said. ‘The […]

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