Ohio State University

To initiate the Deep Energy directorate of the Deep Carbon Observatory with studies differentiating abiogenic from biogenic sources of hydrocarbons

  • Amount $1,500,000
  • City Columbus, OH
  • Investigator David Cole
  • Year 2011
  • Program Science
  • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory

This grant to Ohio State University will provide two years of funding for the creation and operation of the Deep Energy directorate of the Deep Carbon Observatory. The third of four directorates that make up the observatory, the Deep Energy directorate will tap an international network of researchers to address one of the most controversial and momentous issues in earth sciences: how to distinguish hydrocarbons, including natural gas and petroleum, which originate from biological materials ("fossil fuels") from those that do not. The Deep Energy team's research agenda aims to develop a fundamental understanding of environments and processes that regulate chemical, mineralogical, and isotopic signatures that could be used to unambiguously differentiate abiogenic from biogenic sources of hydrocarbons. Fifteen scientists from seven countries spanning diverse views form the core team, which is coordinated by a pair of dynamic young researchers, David Cole (Ohio State) and Chris Ballentine (Manchester University, U.K.).

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