IBM announced on May 31, 2017, that they have a new experimental nanotechnology laboratory for research in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
The laboratory is a part of the $4 million investment within the newly improved IBM Research-Brazil laboratory. The nanotechnology lab will focus on developments that are related to research in Gas and Oil, Health and Agriculture.
With the nanotechnology laboratory, IBM is the very first company to work on making Nano science-based technology models. These will be used to power the Internet of Things, big data and cloud capabilities within the IT industry in Brazil. IBM Cloud will power the simulation systems, data collection processing and treatment.
The nanotechnology lab will let engineers, computer scientists and physicists to cooperatively conduct industrial nanotechnology development in Brazil. This will also happen throughout the 12 global network research labs of IMB. The laboratory will also cooperate with Brazil’s ecosystem, such as government institution and universities. IBM Research-Brazil has already signed a partnership with the Federal University from Minas Gerais.
Latest Discovery Could Help Reduce Oil Losses
Steiner together with his Nanotechnology Lab team’s paper explains how the liquid properties of oil molecules act in unexpected ways. It also shows how it completely different it interacts with a solid material. The research also discovered a surprising fact. The discovery was all about the techniques and simulation tools that are commonly used by the oil industry. It is reported that these do not consider the increased energy needed to extract the oil molecules.
Thus, more than 60% of the oil in the well is left behind the nanoscale capillaries of shale tanks. Because of this, the nanotechnology laboratory team is creating nanoscience-improved simulations of oil flow. This is in hopes that it could better forecast the extraction of oil from the tank.
As stated by Steiner, the simulation does not show how to extract all of the oil trapped. However, it offers different materials and techniques that might provide support in extracting about 1% more oil.
What are the Next Steps?
The next step is to further research the oil flow in nano-capillaries. That is why IBM Research-Brazil and their scientists created an integrated chip platform that allows a way to calibrate and experimentally confirm nanoscale flow for building better simulations of oil flow. With this, it can determine the pressure is needed to pump water, and as well as modified chemicals precisely designed to remove oil from the nanoscale pore network of a rock and finally extract the oil.