New format for the IV Internal Workshop of the RCGI

The results of the 45 projects will be presented, including those of the newly created CO2 abatement program

On March 8 and 9, the FAPESP Shell Research Centre for Gas Innovation (RCGI) will hold its fourth internal workshop in the amphitheater of the Mechanical and Naval Engineering building of the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo (Poli-USP), in São Paulo. The event, which takes place every six months, will bring together coordinators and researchers of the 45 RCGI projects, in order to present the results of the research done during these first 24 months of work. The RCGI research projects are divided into four programs: Engineering; Physicochemical; Energy and Economic Policies; and a CO2 Abatement Program, which was created in September 2017.

For this edition, the format of the workshop has been changed. Previously, the projects were divided according to their programs. Now, they will follow a randomly established order, divided into blocks that alternate projects of all of the programs during the two-day event. Each presentation will last 10-15 minutes, with an additional two minutes for questions.

The objective of the encounter is to present what has been taking place with each project, share results, hear suggestions, raise questions, and promote synergy between the different programs. The opening will be led by RCDGI’s Scientific Director, Julio Meneghini, on the morning of March 8, and by the Centre’s Director Publications and Knowledge, Gustavo Assi, who will welcome the participants. Following that, Alexandre Breda, Camila Brandão, and Pauline Boeira, representing Shell, which is one of the financing sources of the RCGI, will make presentations.


IV Internal Workshop of the RCGI

Date: March 8 and 9, 2018

Times: March 8, 9:00 a.m. to 6:40 p.m.; March 9, 9:00 a.m. to 5:50 p.m.

Place: Amphitheater of the Mechanical and Naval Engineering building of Poli-USP
(Av. Professor Mello Moraes, 2.231, São Paulo – SP)

In its first 18 months of work, RCGI has published, filed for patents, and has gained additional funding

Some 30 scientific publications, three petitions for patents, and 16 new projects are among the achievements of the FAPESP Shell Research Centre for Gas Innovation.

A three-day workshop summarized the results of the first eighteen months of work of the FAPESP Shell Research Centre for Gas Innovation (RCGI). The event took place August 8 to 10 in the facilities of USP’s Polytechnic School (Poli-USP) and brought together coordinators and researchers from RCGI, as well as representatives of Shell, which is one of the funding institutions of the Centre, and representatives of other research institutions, like the Instituto Tecnológico Vale.

The fruit of the labors of one and a half years have been prolific, both generally speaking and for each specific project. Overall, the highlights are the articles published in scientific periodicals (approximately 30), appearances in the media (trade and non-trade), participation in conferences, and visits to international institutions to build possibilities for collaboration in research and innovation.

“Three patents are also in the filing process, as a direct result of the efforts of researchers involved in the Centre’s projects,” said Júlio Meneghini, RCGI’s Scientific Director, who opened the event on the 8th, together with Gustavo Assi, Director of Diffusion of Knowledge.

Meneghini also stressed the importance of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) for the world to be able to achieve the emissions reduction goals stipulated in Paris during the last Climate Conference. “Petroleum, natural gas, and coal represent, respectively, 31.1%, 21.4%, and 28.9% of the world’s energy matrix. Even if we quintuple the use of biofuels, that would not be enough to meet the agreed-upon climate goals. That is why CCS technologies are so important.”

What’s new – Also during the opening moments of the event, Meneghini presented the 16 projects of a new RCGI programme dedicated to issues involving the reduction of CO2 emissions (See the list of new projects here).

“With this fourth programme, the current 150 RCGI researchers will be joined by another one hundred, including Professors and post-Doctoral students, as well as PhD., Masters, and undergraduate science students. And we will triple our budget,” Meneghini stated.

Guilherme Rocha, Manager of Press Relations for Shell in Brazil, and Camila Brandão, representing the Shell Executive Committee at RCGI, reminded that the Centre’s researchers have access to resources that other institutions around the country would find it difficult to provide.

“We have US$ 40 million per year to invest in this partnership with you. But the University must take part in all of the phases of the technology chain for petroleum and natural gas, where the goal is to develop a new product and place it on the market,” Camila explained.

After the opening moments and taking stock of this first period of research, as presented by Human Resources and Leadership Director Karen Mascarenhas, Professor Rita Maria de Brito Alves began presenting the ten projects belonging to the Physical-Chemistry Programme. One new feature is that the device for supersonic separation of CO2 and CH4, which was previously a part of Project 19 and also includes the creation of ceramic membranes, will now be developed in one of the 16 new Projects in RCGI’s portfolio.

On the second day of the event, the results were presented of the Engineering Programme, coordinated by Professor Emílio Silva, and of Energy Policies and Economics Programme, led by Professor Edmilson Moutinho. Researchers in this Programme commented on their participation in the International Gas Union Research Conference (IGRC), in May, in Rio de Janeiro. Some 13 articles by the group were approved for presentation at the event, and six of them were chosen to be given orally.

In the Engineering Programme, the biggest news comes from Project 29 (Development of a Penta Fuel Flex Vehicle), now under the guidance of the team led by Professor Clayton B. Zabeu, of the Mauá Institute of Technology (IMT). “We are describing the functioning of the engine through the use of Big Data. At this time, we have a list of 60 variables that provide a wide range of information regarding the car,” said Daniel de Oliveira Mota, one of the IMT team.

Media Training – On the last day of the event, RCGI members took part in media training given by the Director of Acadêmica Agência de Comunicação, José Roberto Ferreira. Acadêmica is the agency that provides press relations services to RCGI. The initiative stirred excellent discussions. Professor Luís Venturi, coordinator of Project 28, whose research results regarding the energy vulnerability of the City of São Paulo were announced in the press, praised the initiative.

“I would like us to go even deeper into this subject, with individual media training, including simulated interviews and an evaluation of our performance by Acadêmica. This type of approach is necessary and opportune for those who, like myself, are not accustomed to dealing with media vehicles, reporters, and journalists.”

Since the founding of RCGI, the Centre has been covered in 133 news reports in the press – fruit of the publicity work done with all of the projects of the three Programmes that existed during that time.

Professor Ricardo Esparta, of Project 23, remembered that the issue of disseminating research news to the press is a big challenge. “We don’t have this culture. We recognize the importance of knowing how to deal with the press and of ‘becoming news’, but we do not have a communication culture. This is a challenge for the academic community.”

III RCGI Workshop presents results of a year and a half of research

Besides showing the evolution of the Centre’s 29 scientific projects, the event will include media training to guide researchers in dealing with the press

On August 8 to 10, the FAPESP Shell Research Centre for Gas Innovation (RCGI) will hold its third internal workshop. The event will bring together the coordinators and researchers of RCGI’s 29 projects, who will present the results of their studies, after a year and a half of work.

Each coordinator (or team) will have 15 minutes to present what is being done on their projects and they will be granted five more minutes for questions from those in attendance, which is estimated to be around 150 people. The workshop will be held in the amphitheater of the Mechanical and Naval Engineering building, in the Polytechnic School (Poli/USP), and registration can be made at this link:

On the 8th, the event will begin at 1:30 p.m., with a welcome by Gustavo Assi, RCGI’s Director of Publicity and Communication. Then, Professor Julio Meneghini, the Centre’s Scientific Director, will speak regarding the new projects that will likely join the RCGI portfolio yet this year.

[custom_blockquote style=”green”] “We have proposals for new projects that are still under study. The hydrogen-powered car is one of them. We are also studying projects in the area of biodigesters, along several lines, with the professional assistance of Professor Suani Coelho, who is an expert in the subject. We also have a proposal for studying offshore hubs, under the gas-to-wire concept, and of substituting diesel fuel in trucks used in the mining sector, together with the team of Professor Kazuo Nishimoto, of the Numerical Test Tank of Poli-USP,” Meneghini announced. [/custom_blockquote]

The opening moments end with a word from Guilherme Rocha, Director of External Relations of Shell, which is one of the funding institutions of RCGI. At 2:40 p.m., the presentations of projects 11 to 20 will be given, all of which come from the Physicochemistry Program, coordinated by Professors Rita Maria de Brito Alves, Reinaldo Giudici, and Claudio Oller. The Moderator will be Professor Rita Maria.

On the 9th, the schedule begins at 8:30 a.m. with the projects from the Engineering Program, coordinated by Professors Emílio C. Silva and Guenther Krieger Filho. Until 11:40 a.m., the results of projects 1 to 10 will be shown, followed by project 29. The Moderator is Professor Emílio Silva.

After lunch, the presentations will concentrate on the results of projects 21 to 28, from the Energy Economy and Policies Program, which is coordinated by Professors Edmilson Moutinho dos Santos, Hirdan Katarina de Medeiros Costa, and Suani Teixeira Coelho. Welcoming researchers, in this case, is Professor Edmilson Moutinho.

Meneghini states that the meeting is an excellent opportunity for integrating RCGI’s team of scientists and is also a chance to show what is being studied, to those who are interested in research regarding natural gas, biogas, hydrogen, and the management, transport, and storage of CO2. “Multidisciplinary areas create the necessary synergy for problem solving and an atmosphere that is ripe for research and innovation,” he says.

On the last day (10th), from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, media training will be provided for those participating in the event. The objective is to provide general information regarding how RCGI’s researchers should deal with the press. The person responsible for the training is José Roberto Ferreira, Director of Acadêmica Assessoria de Comunicação (which provides press relations services to RCGI) and the former President of the Brazilian Association of Scientific Journalism. 

Event Information: III RCGI Internal Workshop

Dates: August 8, 9, and 10, 2017

Times: 8th – 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; 9th – 8:30 a.m. to 5:40; 10th – 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon (media training)

Place: Amphitheater of the Mechanical and Naval Engineering Building – Av. Professor Mello Moraes, 2231, USP Polytechnic School


GTI and Osaka Gas visit RCGI

The FAPESP-Shell Research Centre for Gas Innovation (RCGI) welcomed, May 22 and 23, Professors Vann Bush, Paul Glanville, Dennis Jarnecke, and Bill Liss, from the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), headquartered in Chicago, IL, U.S. Two days later, on May 25 and 26, the welcome mat was out for Yusuke Tokuda, Shojiro Osumi, and Tomoshiro Inoue, from Osaka Gas, which is one of the largest natural gas distributors in Japan.

Both of the delegations visited the Numerical Test Tank, where they were received by Professor Kazuo Nishimoto; the Fluid Dynamics Laboratory; and the Combustion Laboratory (all located at the Polytechnic School-Poli). They also went to the Fuel Cells Laboratory, at the Institute for Energy and Nuclear Research (IPEN). The GTI group, led by Professor Edmilson Moutinho (Energy and Environment Institute-IEE, of the University of São Paulo-USP), also visited the IEE and the Brazilian Association for Facility Compliance and Efficiency (ABRINSTAL). And the delegation from Osaka Gas was at the Chemical Engineering Laboratories, at the invitation of Professor Claudio Oller (Poli/USP).

The GTI is a nonprofit research institution that addresses energy and environmental issues with a focus on fossil fuels, and its objective is to ensure a safe, abundant, and economically feasible energy future. Besides visiting the laboratories and institutes at the University of São Paulo, they presented the mini-course New efficient technologies for residential/commercial space conditioning and water heating.

Osaka Gas is an important energy supplier in Japan, founded in 1897. The company takes natural gas to 7 million clients in the region of Kansai, central Japan, including the urban centers of Osaka, where it is headquartered, as well as Kobe and Kyoto. Besides the visits, they made presentations at the RCGI regarding three subjects: technology of burners, technology of air conditioning running on natural gas, and technologies related to biogas.

“In 2016, a delegation from the RCGI visited the headquarters of Osaka Gas, in Japan. This recent visit of the Japanese delegation to the RCGI, the laboratories, and the USP research institutes is the first fruit of the relationship that began a year ago. And, from among the subjects of mutual interest, we established these three: technology of burners, technology of air conditioning running on natural gas, and technologies related to biogas. There is no one working at the RCGI with technology for air conditioning, bu we are bringing Professors together who are dedicated to this subject,” explains Julio Meneghini, Scientific Director of the RCGI.


Photos Osaka Gas-RCGI

RCGI promotes a talk about application of carbon fibre composites

Engineer Christopher York discovered 24 different families of composites and is now investigating how they can be used beyond the aeronautical industry

Invited by the Research Centre for Gas Innovation (RCGI), engineer Christopher York shall be giving a talk about the application of carbon fibre composites in different areas of engineering, on 19 July.  Mr York has dedicated himself to the study of the use of lighter materials in the automotive and aerospace industries. A post-doctoral student at the University of Wales, he discovered 24 different families of carbon fibre composites and is now investigating their use beyond the aeronautics industry.

“Composites have been used as a way of relieving the weight of structures which are normally made of metal. Those which I am developing are aimed at application in the aeronautical area, but their uses are in no way restricted to this area. They can have several different applications. For example, replacement of metallic structures for offshore platforms, or for use in the ducts that transport natural gas, which are metallic and very heavy. I have already identified the possible uses for the aerospace industry, either for the wings of aeroplanes or the propellers of helicopters. However, there are other applications I have not thought about as yet”, the engineer has said.

In his opinion, one can say for sure that, with the replacement of traditional metal structures by other structures made in carbon fibre, it is possible to reduce the weight by 50%. “There is a need to identify which areas need lighter materials. For this reason, it is important to share this information. We are presenting all these concepts so that different people may envisage the applications and uses of these composites”.

To test the concept, Mr York ordered the preparation of samples of carbon fibre sheet for each of the classes of composites that he discovered. “All 24 families or classes are made of carbon fibre. What changes is the position of the fibres within the materials. My samples are laminated sheets of carbon fibre, each made of 4 superimposed laminae. Each lamina brings the fibres facing a given direction. This means the creation of a laminate material with coupled properties – that fold, twist…”, the speaker explains.

Also according to the speaker, each class has its own pattern of behaviour. “There is one that behaves exactly like metal. Another has a different behaviour: in terms of mechanical properties, when one tries to fold it, it responds as if the intention was to twist it. However, in terms of heat properties, when exposed to heat, it behaves just like metal.”

Mr York also states that, prior to his research, only 10 classes of carbon fibre composites were known, and that only two of these original types are used by industry.  “I am here because people want to explore different things. Carbon fibre is very expensive and therefore its use must be worthwhile, from industry’s point of view. In the case of aircraft, it is highly worthwhile. We wish to find out in what other areas this is also the case”.

General information: The talk by Christopher York shall be held at the Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo, Butantã Campus (Poli-USP), in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, at Av. Prof. Mello Moraes, 2231, in the Mechanical and Naval Engineering Building, room MZ-02, on 19 July at 2 p.m. You may sign up to participate at the link: