Shale Gas in the Middle of the Worldwide Energy Drama [Blog Series]

October 10, 2012

This is Part 4 in the ChEnected series "We Are ChE: Entering a Golden Age", authored by Incoming 2013 AIChE president Phil Westmoreland.

To follow up on my previous posts, another important reason for foreseeing a new Golden Age of ChE is the dramatic change in the energy picture during the last two years.

One of the biggest changes is the surge in production of natural gas by hydrofracturing. “Fracking” has dropped gas prices dramatically, altering US energy, organic-chemicals, and polymers businesses and foreshadowing changes throughout the world.

A US shale-gas boom

Hydrofracturing is more than sixty years old, but during the last four years, it has taken off in the gas-rich Marcellus shale formations in the northeastern US.

Read More

Phillip R. Westmoreland

Phillip R. Westmoreland is Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State Univ. (NCSU) and Executive Director of the NCSU Institute for Computational Science and Engineering. His chemical engineering degrees are from NCSU (BS, 1973), Louisiana State Univ. (MS, 1974), and MIT (PhD, 1986). He worked in coal research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1974–1979), as a ChE faculty member at the Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst (1986–2009), and as a program director at the National Science Foundation (2006–2009).

An AIChE Fellow, Phil began service as public...Read more