Porosity, Permeability, and CCS – Oh My!
MRCI Participation in Annual COSI Science Festival a Hit Second Year in a Row
On Saturday, May 6, 2023, The MRCI hosted an interactive display at the COSI (Center of Science and Industry) Big Science Celebration 2023 as one part of Battelle’s tent full of experiments and displays. Battelle, which co-leads the Midwest Regional Carbon Initiative along with the Illinois State Geological Survey, is a “visionary” sponsor/partner of COSI, a nationally recognized science/discovery center in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and therefore had a large presence at the event.
This event was introduced in 2019 and is extremely well-advertised, attracting families from across the state of Ohio. Lasting five-hours total, The Big Science Celebration featured over 100 STEM exhibitors and was the culminating event of a four-day celebration of science across the state.
The MRCI display was staffed by members of the Battelle/MRCI Team, including Program Manager Matt Young, Assistant Program Manager Evan Byrnes, Infrastructure Task Lead Jared Hawkins, Technical Deputy Task Lead Amber Conner, Outreach Task Lead Joy Frank-Collins, and team members Brigitte Petras and Jorge Barrios Rivas.
The MRCI experiments centered around the geology of carbon capture and storage at three stations:
Station 1 – Demonstrated the impermeability of a caprock, and the permeability of a reservoir rock through a bicycle pump inter-active display;
Station 2 – Offered visitors an up-close, hands-on opportunity to conduct porosity and permeability experiments on large rock samples and view rocks used in CCS with a strong magnifying glass; and
Station 3 – Encouraged visitors to create their own Carbon Capture and Storage Rock Kits comprised of two cap rocks, two reservoir rocks, and pyrite and lava rock (to illustrate structure, mass, and pore-space). Mini-hand lenses and pipettes were also distributed with the kits to facilitate at-home experiments.
The entire MRCI display was complemented with standing and tabletop signage that explained CCS and the goal of the program. The Rock Kits were also branded MRCI on the top and bottom, included a “legend” on the inside of the kit to help users identify the rocks they collected, and linked to the MRCI website with a QR code. The link took users to a unique page on the website that had additional information on the rocks in the kit as well as experiments they could perform at home, a glossary of terms related to CCS, and links to a YouTube video on rock identification as well as the NETL’s Carbon Dioxide page. Thousands attended the free event and between 225-250 rock kits were distributed.
Check out our gallery of images here!