Dr. Kazempoor Receives $1.8 M+ Grant for Natural Gas Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In January, Dr. Pejman Kazempoor received a grant to start work on his natural gas project titled, “Low-Cost Retrofit Kit for Integral Reciprocating Compressors (IRCs) to Reduce Emissions and Enhance Efficiency.” This new retrofit technology—consisting of a combustion optimizer integrated sensors, and a cloud-connected control system—will significantly reduce emissions (i.e., methane and volatile organic compounds), improve operating efficiency, and reduce operating costs for existing IRCs used in production, gathering, transmission, and processing sections of the natural gas industry. This project received a DOE Funding of $1,488,391 plus $394,751 of Non-DOE Funding; and will be done over the course of 3 years.

Dr. Pejman Kazempoor, Dr. Hamid Shabgard, and Dr. Ramkumar Parthasarathy are the three professors involved in the project from the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Sridhar Radhakrishnan, a professor from the School of Computer Science, is also involved in the project. Industry partners include WAGO Automation and Mid-Continent Rental.

According to Kazempoor and his research team, they, “expect to decrease emissions significantly from the production sector of the oil and gas industry.” The production sector accounts for 72% of the total methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industry (EPA, 2017).

Dr. Kazempoor will be collaborating with Dr. Radhakrishnan and WAGO automation to create a cloud-connected remote monitoring tool. Since the parameters to reduce emissions constitute true evidence of the IRC’s healthy operation, the cloud-connected feature facilitates remote monitoring of the IRC for preventative and predictive maintenance as an additional benefit to operators.

Dr. Kazempoor will be working on the project in his Energy Sustainability Center here at OU. He said, “The oil and natural gas industry has a direct economic impact on the state of Oklahoma. It’s a great opportunity to help our state and nation by solving the oil and natural gas industry problems, in this case, emissions.” Dr. Kazempoor said an aspect of this project he really enjoys is that they’re using advanced techniques, such as artificial intelligence, to modernize and enhance the safety and efficiency of the Nation’s natural gas infrastructure.

Three graduate students, who will use parts of the project work in their doctoral dissertations/master’s theses, will assist the principal investigators. “They are helping us to modernize what we have now in the field to the current standards. For example, a modern car has many sophisticated technologies. IRCs have been utilized in the oil and gas industry for 130 years, so they ‘re trying to integrate new technology into those old engines to make them more efficient.”

One graduate student will work on the Computational Fluid Dynamics, another on sensors, and the third graduate student will work on monitoring tools. Two undergraduate students will assist graduate students. Additionally, a technician will be hired to work on the retrofit kit manufacture and installation in the field.

 

Meet Dr. Kazempoor, an Assistant Professor new to the University of Oklahoma

Dr. Pejman Kazempoor started working at OU as an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the beginning of this semester. Dr. Kazempoor’s research interests include driving sustainable performance in the Oil and Gas industry; process modeling, simulation, and optimization; natural gas transmission and processing; energy storage, fuel cells, and batteries; advanced sensor technologies; data analytics and machine learning.

Dr. Kazempoor believes that OU is a well-respected and comprehensive global university that has incredible diversity on campus. He also said that OU stands out as a leader in many sciences, engineering, and medical fields. It has been providing students with a world-class education for over 100 years. He said OU is also the leading arts and cultural center in the state of Oklahoma.

He’s looking forward to developing innovative and multi-disciplinary research projects related to the oil and gas industry. He is broadly interested in sustainable energy for the O&G industry with the main objectives to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

Dr. Kazempoor is from the city of Isfahan located in central Iran. The city is renowned for its outstanding Islamic and Iranian architecture. The city was once one of the largest and most important cities in Central Asia. French poet Renier visited Isfahan for the first time; and called it “half of the World.”¹

Dr. Kazempoor enjoys fine arts especially Western and Native-American paintings and bronze sculptures. He was a marathon runner when he was younger, but now he enjoys more hiking, fishing, camping and spending time with his family and friends. Dr. Kazempoor also plays two traditional music instruments –Tar and Setar.

¹http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Isfahan_Half_of_the_World.htm