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Red Trail Energy Hosts Open House Event in Richardton


RICHARDTON, N.D. – Red Trail Energy, LLC (RTE) recently hosted an open house event at the American Legion in Richardton. Approximately 40 community members attended. Scientists and engineers from the University of North Dakota (UND) Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) joined RTE staff and provided information to attendees on a local carbon capture and storage project.
EERC Director of Subsurface R & D Charles Gorecki discusses the project with community members.
With the support of the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), RTE is investigating carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technology as a way to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions associated with ethanol production. Reducing emissions enables energy producers to sell ethanol to states that have low-carbon fuel programs, such as California. CCUS technology captures and permanently stores carbon dioxide emissions.
“We are very excited to continue working with the EERC to investigate CCUS as an economical option for meeting low-carbon fuel program markets in other states,” said Gerald Bachmeier, RTE Chief Executive Officer. “Our community has been supportive of the effort, and we appreciate their time to attend our open house.”

Photos from the event can be viewed here.

EERC Geophysicist Amanda Livers-Douglas explains CCUS.

Questions about the project can be directed to:

Dustin Willett, RTE Chief Operating Officer
(701) 974-3308, dustin@redtrailenergy.com

Nikki Massmann, EERC Communications Director
(701) 777-5428, nmassmann@undeerc.org

EERC Welcomes Alexis Thompson

The EERC is pleased to welcome Alexis Thompson to the Financial Services Team as an Accountant. Alexis will provide accounting and business support for the EERC and accounting, processing, and reporting for the EERC Foundation.

“I’ve heard wonderful things from other UND employees about how great it is to work here,” said Alexis.

Alexis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Minnesota – Crookston Prior to working at the EERC, Alexis worked at Dee Inc. as an Accountant/Corporate Controller. She said she was drawn to this position at the EERC because it gives her the chance to be a part of UND and the EERC “family” as well as work in a different area of accounting.

“I’ve spent the past 12.5 years working in corporate accounting in a manufacturing setting, this new position allows me to look at accounting in a whole new way which is very exciting to me. I like many things about my new job and am taking advantage of all the new opportunities to broaden my accounting knowledge,” said Alexis.

Originally from Greenbush, Minnesota Alexis has lived in Crookston since college with her husband, Tyler. Alexis enjoys crafting, embroidering, cross-stitching, gardening, and making homemade bread. For outdoor fun, she likes to four-wheel. Alexis also enjoys hockey and rooting for the Wild and UND Fighting Hawks.

EERC Welcomes Arelys Salazar


The EERC is pleased to welcome Arelys Salazar to the EERC team as a Reservoir Engineer where she will be developing geophysical computer models and dynamic simulations of the subsurface to determine the long-term fate of produced/injected fluids, such as hydrocarbons, CO2 storage, and brine.

Arelys holds a Master’s of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Wyoming. She also earned a Specialist in Integrated Reservoir Management degree and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela. Arelys comes to the EERC with 18 years of industry and academic experience, having taught chemistry at the University of Carabobo, Venezuela and worked for the Venezuelan Institute of Petroleum Technology; PVDSA Intevep and for ConocoPhillips and Halliburton.

“The EERC is known for its innovation, and that drew me to this position,” said Arelys, who credits her work at PVDSA Intevep for fostering her passion for the oil and gas field. “It was an honor to work there, to innovate, to learn something new every day, and to learn from people with so many different backgrounds,” she said.

Her principal areas of interest and expertise includes reservoir characterization, production forecasting and optimization, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies.

A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Arelys moved to the United States in 2007. She met her husband, an economist and quality manager, while they were both living in Houston. Arelys and her husband enjoy watching soccer and baseball. Arelys likes watching documentaries and loves a good superhero movie.

EERC Congratulates Kalk in New Role

GRAND FORKS – The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) congratulates Brian Kalk, Director of Energy Systems Development, Design, and Operations, who has been named Executive Director for NDSU’s Research and Technology Park.

“We greatly appreciate Brian’s time here at the EERC and his dedicated work advancing innovative solutions in energy,” said EERC CEO Tom Erickson. “While we are sad to see him go, we congratulate Brian on his new position. The Research and Technology Park will be in good hands with Brian as their leader, and we congratulate them as well.”

Kalk worked at the EERC for two years, and represented the organization on several state and national committees. Kalk was instrumental in establishing a number of internal and external initiatives, including a series of goals and objectives that were ultimately extremely influential in the development of Governor Burgum’s own goals for North Dakota and its vibrant energy and agricultural industries.

Kalk’s final day is April 30. The EERC will fill the position as soon as possible.

“Our team is committed to providing seamless service to our many valued clients through this transition,” said Erickson. “We’re looking forward to working with Brian in his new role.”

EERC Travels Down Under to Discuss Greenhouse Gas

Traveling over 9300 miles, across the Pacific, into the Southern Hemisphere, eight team members from the EERC journeyed to Melbourne, Australia, to participate in the Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT) conference. In the span of 4 days, five presentations were given, ten posters were presented, and four people served as session chairs for seven different topics.

Since 1997, GHGT has been the principal worldwide conference on greenhouse gas mitigation, specifically on CO2 capture and storage. Led by the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme (IEAGHG), the GHGT conference serves as a platform for its 30 member countries to share and collaborate on their CO2 research. GHGT comprises over 70 technical sessions, 300 oral presentations, and 400 technical posters; GHGT brings together approximately 1000 industry professionals, academics, researchers, technical vendors, and government representatives.

“If you want to know what’s going on in the world of CO2 research, this is the conference to attend,” said Principal Engineer for Emissions and Carbon Capture John Kay, who was one of the EERC’s presenters.

Kay presented on the EERC’s research regarding the development of a postcombustion CO2 capture system on an existing coal-fired electric generating power plant. Kay emphasized the importance of the EERC’s participation in global events like GHGT.

“Conferences like this help cement our global relationships. Seeing people from all over the world and having the opportunity to have face-to-face discussions about this kind of research is huge,” Kay said. “The big payoff comes as future opportunities and new working relationships. People we meet remember us 6 months down the road; we get a lot of additional work just from making those connections and talking with the public about what we do.”

Other technical presentations included the work related to the EERC’s Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership, such as storage capacities for CO2 in geologic saline formations, updated CO2 modeling and simulation, and CO2 monitoring for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Reservoir Engineer Chantsa Dalkhaa presented on the updated numerical modeling and simulation work as part of the Aquistore CO2 Storage Project. This project, located in Saskatchewan, Canada, is the world’s first commercial postcombustion carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) project from a coal-fired power-generating facility. Dalkhaa also served as a session chair for the conference.

The EERC’s Director of Subsurface R&D, Charles Gorecki, presented on the successes and lessons learned from the 15 years of the PCOR Partnership, one of many PCOR Partnership related presentations that have been presented at the GHGT conference series over the years. Beginning in 2003, the PCOR Partnership has grown to over 120 partners and has completed numerous field projects related to CCUS and its association with CO2 for EOR.

“The PCOR Partnership Program, led by the EERC, has been one of the leading global efforts developing the technologies to enable the widespread deployment of CCUS activities and has set the stage for additional research activities at the EERC and beyond,” said Gorecki. Gorecki also spoke of the various projects that have resulted from the PCOR Partnership, such as Project Tundra and North Dakota CarbonSAFE. “It has really been a privilege to work on the PCOR Partnership Program alongside an incredible group of scientists and engineers at the EERC and in our member companies.”

The GHGT conference is held every 2 years and typically rotates between North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.