Importance and uses of natural gas as an energy source have been growing; event at USP discusses possibilities and challenges for natural gas in a world that wants to reduce emissions

Brazilian and foreign experts meet at Sustainable Gas Research & Innovation Conference 2017, September 19 and 20, in São Paulo, to discuss the future of natural gas and to share the development of innovative technologies for making its utilization feasible, within a global scenario of expectation, in terms of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The event, organized by the FAPESP Shell Research Centre for Gas Innovation (RCGI), of Brazil, and by the Sustainable Gas Institute (SGI), of England, is in its second edition and will be held in the auditorium of USP’s International Performing Arts Center (CDI).

Besides researchers from the two institutes, others participating in the conference were the Secretary of Mining and Energy of the State of São Paulo, João Carlos de Souza Meirelles; the President of the Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo (FAPESP), José Goldemberg; the Vice-Chancellor of the University of São Paulo (USP), Vahan Agopyan; USP’s Research Provost USP, José Eduardo Krieger; Shell’s Director of Natural Gas Separation, Rob Littel; and Plínio Nastari, member of the National Council of Energy Policies.

The opening of the event will be led by the Director or Publicity and Communication of RCGI, Gustavo Assi, followed by the Vice-Director of SGI, Adam Hawkes, and the Scientific Director of RCGI, Júlio Meneghini. After that, the invited guests, already mentioned above, will speak.

Representing the Imperial College London, where the Sustainable Gas Institute is headquartered, will be Kris Anderson, Velisa Vesovic, and Cristiano Borges, SGI researchers and members of the Earth Sciences and Engineering Department of the Imperial College; Jamie Speirs, who will present the recent white paper A Greener Gas Grid: What are the Options?; Paul Balcombe, an associate researcher of the SGI connected to the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Imperial College; Sara Giarola, one of the coordinators of the modeling team of SGI; Daniel Crow, also of the SGI modeling team; Sara Budinis, SGI chemical engineer and researcher; Ivan Garcia Kerdan, SGI assistant researcher and from the Chemical Engineering Department of the Imperial College; David Daniel, Chief Energy Modeler of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA); and Li Zheng, Professor of the Thermal Energy Department of Tsinghua University.

Representing the RCGI, all of the members of the Board of Directors and all of the project coordinators with their respective teams will be in attendance. However, the format of the event has a few changes with from last year’s event. Half of the 29 RCGI projects will be presented orally and the other half will be presented in poster sessions, for which the presenters will use five TV monitors strategically located in the lobby of the amphitheater. The coordinators of the programs had the responsibility of selecting the projects presented in each modality. The oral presentations will last for 15 minutes, with additional 5 minutes for questions from the audience. The poster presentations will last 10 minutes.

“Natural gas represents, at one and the same time, both an immense challenge and an incredible opportunity for Brazil, keeping in mind the expectation that Brazilian production will grow when the pre-salt exploration goes into operation. Our challenges include a whole range of things from technology through storage of the resource – not only as an energy source, but as a raw material for obtaining other resources whose technologies for utilization are still being developed – to the infrastructure for their dissemination, while building demand in the face the lack of a culture for using natural gas in Brazil,” Julio Meneghini sums up.

However, he points out that the RCGI sustains projects that cover a wide range of the technological, merchandising, logistical, and cultural challenges that involve the use of natural gas, biomethane, and hydrogen, as well as ways of mitigating emissions of CO2 and other gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect in Brazil and around the world. And he reminds of the insertion of 16 additional projects to the RCGI portfolio, in a new program dedicated to issues that involve reducing CO2 emissions, including CCS technologies and their environmental impacts, methods for separating gases, and other initiatives. “With this fourth program, another one hundred researchers will join the current 150 at RCGI.”

According to Meneghini, the Conference is a unique initiative that makes it possible for the two institutions and their researchers to share their knowledge, exchange ideas, gain insights, and present necessary data for fully understanding the role of natural gas in the global energy scenario.


The Sustainable Gas Research & Innovation Conference 2017 will take place in USP’s CDI Auditorium (Av. Prof. Lúcio Martins Rodrigues, 222 – Cidade Universitária – São Paulo). On Sept. 19, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on Sept. 20, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. See the complete schedule at: