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University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh

Our research in understanding the changing physical forces that shape our planet has been instrumental in helping solve major challenges for governments, industry, and communities worldwide.
Earth science is fast becoming one of the most crucial scientific disciplines of the 21st Century as humanity struggles to balance environmental protection and economic progress on a finite and fragile planet.
We deal with topics from the formation of the Earth billions of years ago to the development of hydrogen storage technologies which will provide clean energy sources for the future.

Edinburgh-Aachen Geoscience Microtomography group

The Edinburgh-Aachen Geoscience Microtomography group has, over the past decade, developed and used a wide range of X-ray transparent experimental setups in applications that cover most aspects of sustainable geo-energy research. The group is composed of specialists in operando X-ray tomography imaging, but many long-term experiments have also been done at the in-house imaging setup. UEDIN/RWTH has a track record in open-source developments and have contributed to community-building in that way; some designs have been replicated and developed further (e.g., Stanford Synchrotron Light Source and Advanced Photon Source). The UEDIN/RWTH group has also invested in data processing and analysis. In general, they have contributed critical components to a novel experimental approach that holds huge potential for sustainable subsurface energy research.

The infrastructure is involved in a wide range of studies that benefit from X-ray imaging, covering geological, paleontological, biological and engineering research, with typically several dozen external uses per year. The group covers mostly tectonics, rock physics and geo-energy research, where they specialise in operando 4D X-ray imaging. Over the past five years, the UEDIN/RWTH group has worked at the Swiss Light Source, the French Synchrotron SOLEIL, Diamond Light Source (UK), the Advanced Photon Source (USA) and the European Synchrotron Light Source. The group designs and builds their own X-ray transparent experimental environments and have a track record of making the designs publicly available. Currently, we support a range of external research projects through collaborations. 

Experimental setup & technique

EXCITE2 will make the UEDIN/RWTH group’s extensive experience and the most important aspects of their existing experimental tools available to the broad science community and assist new users in developing, running, and analysing experiments. The equipment we will share includes the latest flagship triaxial rig, which can reproduce most subsurface reservoir conditions up to 300 °C/30 MPa Pc/<30 MPa Pf to study fluidrock interaction and deformation processes in 10x20 mm large samples with μm resolution. A bespoke copy of that rig is currently being finalised, funded by UK’s NERC. The group is in discussion with PSICHÉ at SOLEIL to establish guaranteed access for users through a block beamtime allocation. PSICHÉ have further agreed to store the equipment on-site, make lab-space available for off-line experiments and collaborate on further developing equipment integration to optimise data acquisition and quality. Users will be accompanied through all stages of conducting a successful 4D Xray tomography experiment, including experiment planning, equipment adaptation, experimental dry runs, synchrotron μCT, data processing and analysis.

Curious to learn more?

Interested in gaining access to the EXCITE2 facilities? Please enter your email address and be one of the first to be informed when we open the first EXCITE2 call for proposals. Other questions? Contact us here.

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